What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

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lollsat
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What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby lollsat » Sun May 10, 2015 5:28 am

There are many posts on TLS that highly recommend getting a job for a few years before law school, and how it will help during admissions and the job search after law school. But does this apply to any job such as delivering pizzas or working in a grocery store for 2 years?

If you guys want to share, what type of jobs did you do before law school? What jobs or experiences would you recommend?

Thanks! 8)

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chuckbass
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby chuckbass » Sun May 10, 2015 8:13 am

Go get a job as a paralegal for two years hth

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CaptainJapan
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby CaptainJapan » Sun May 10, 2015 9:59 am

I worked in a pretty unique/creative corporate role, doing something completely unrelated to law, and I think I got some points for that during the admissions process. Seems to me that being a paralegal is a safe route to take, but you've got to think admissions officers see thousands of those on a CV each cycle. I could be wrong, but I'm not sure it'll help you out-perform your numbers.

On a personal level, I'm kind of glad I took a break from UG, did something creative for a few years, and now am ready to get back in the trenches for 1L.

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usn26
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby usn26 » Sun May 10, 2015 10:05 am

I think anything that proves you can show up on time and work productively for 8(+) hours is a positive for both admissions and legal employment. More than numbers in the case of admissions? Of course not, don't be ridiculous. But if you can use that time working to boost your numbers it's doubly positive.

hearsay77
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby hearsay77 » Sun May 10, 2015 10:24 am

I worked in a mostly administrative role at a V10 firm. Would highly recommend.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun May 10, 2015 1:39 pm

Military. Good experience, decent paycheck plus they paid for law school and gave me a stipend my whole three years.

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Lwoods
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby Lwoods » Sun May 10, 2015 1:47 pm

I worked as a secretary at a V10 and one of the big 3 banks, then a different, research role at the same V10. Then I worked as an analyst for a big fashion retailer. They were useful in different ways.

I think my experience at the V10 has made me very confident and comfortable in the law firm environment. I ease into the culture very easily. The name also helped when I was interviewing because the firm has such a strong reputation. This experience was valuable in helping me make the decision to pursue a legal career, too.

My experiences at the bank and particularly the fashion retailer gave me excellent perspective on how businesses are actually run. I also know all of those corporate buzzwords and general internal business practices. I plan to use that experience down the line with client development/targeting that industry.

That's a long-winded way of saying: do something that you find interesting. You may find a career that you like better than law. But if you don't, you'll still have a niche that you can use later on.
I guess it helps some with admissions, but it's pretty short-sighted to focus on that (and still very little bang for your buck compared with a high LSAT score). But it pays dividends in the job hunt because many employers recognize how useful it can be. Even employers who use an "up or out" model will like people with experience because they tend to have more to talk about.

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haus
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby haus » Sun May 10, 2015 3:30 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:Military. Good experience, decent paycheck plus they paid for law school and gave me a stipend my whole three years.

I also did a stint in the military (although my time was in the 90s, and the pay and education benefits were quite a bit less back then), it was a good life experience, although I do not think the Marine Corps is for everyone.

After joining the ranks of civilians once again, I went into IT (eventually InfoSec), which has been useful, and becoming more relevant to any number of fields. Generally, this has been good work, but it requires a willingness to put up with odd schedules, and the need to learn on fly.

Alpal29
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby Alpal29 » Mon May 11, 2015 12:20 pm

I work at Disney World in the Hospitality line of business.

It's a fun gig while I study for the LSAT, with opportunity to move up if I blow it.

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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Mon May 11, 2015 1:19 pm

No one can recommend anything to you before knowing more of your personal information. If you're studying electrical engineering a journalism position is a bad idea. And an electrical engineering position wouldn't work for a journalist student.

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dabigchina
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby dabigchina » Mon May 11, 2015 1:25 pm

Public accounting. Apparently it's a decent soft for OCI, especially if u get CPA.

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antiworldly
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby antiworldly » Mon May 11, 2015 2:15 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Go get a job as a paralegal for two years hth


This is by far the most popular option. Almost everyone I talked to on my visits who had work experience was a paralegal in the market they were interested in working in after law school. It's a good way to see if you like the work and make some connections. Since it is so common though, you won't stand out much from all of the other applicants with the exact same experience, but hopefully the connections you make will balance out the banality of the experience.

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chuckbass
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby chuckbass » Mon May 11, 2015 2:18 pm

antiworldly wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:Go get a job as a paralegal for two years hth


This is by far the most popular option. Almost everyone I talked to on my visits who had work experience was a paralegal in the market they were interested in working in after law school. It's a good way to see if you like the work and make some connections. Since it is so common though, you won't stand out much from all of the other applicants with the exact same experience, but hopefully the connections you make will balance out the banality of the experience.

Yeah, I was giving this advice because otherwise idk how K-JDs just know that they want to be lawyers. This will be more valuable to figure out then your job being a soft at all during the admissions process.

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usn26
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby usn26 » Mon May 11, 2015 4:04 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Yeah, I was giving this advice because otherwise idk how K-JDs just know that they want to be lawyers.


Internships, shadowing (more the former than the latter, obviously).

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KMart
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby KMart » Mon May 11, 2015 4:48 pm

dabigchina wrote:Public accounting. Apparently it's a decent soft for OCI, especially if u get CPA.

Good to know, I plan on getting my CPA...

OP: I worked as a tax accountant in a smaller law firm. Paralegal would be great, otherwise find something legal related. At worst, working as a barista is going to be better than a resume gap.

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby TasmanianToucan » Mon May 11, 2015 5:08 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:
antiworldly wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:Go get a job as a paralegal for two years hth


This is by far the most popular option. Almost everyone I talked to on my visits who had work experience was a paralegal in the market they were interested in working in after law school. It's a good way to see if you like the work and make some connections. Since it is so common though, you won't stand out much from all of the other applicants with the exact same experience, but hopefully the connections you make will balance out the banality of the experience.

Yeah, I was giving this advice because otherwise idk how K-JDs just know that they want to be lawyers. This will be more valuable to figure out then your job being a soft at all during the admissions process.

+1

I've been a paralegal for 2.5 years now, and most of what I thought legal work would be has long since been debunked. Of course it doesn't make your application stand out, and it may not make you any meaningful connections, but it will help you to answer one very important question:

There are people who are happy reading and writing legal language all day, and people who are not. Which category do you fall into?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon May 11, 2015 5:12 pm

I did quality assurance for a company. It was the most chill 9-5, 40 hour a week, do nothing but watch movies, TLS, and Facebook during work hours and get decently paid kind of gig ever. Gave me plenty of time to study the LSAT and gave me enough money to travel during my 2 free years.

Is it a law school/interview soft? No. But it allowed me to save enough money for cost of living during my first year.
Last edited by ManoftheHour on Mon May 11, 2015 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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chuckbass
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby chuckbass » Mon May 11, 2015 5:13 pm

usn26 wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:Yeah, I was giving this advice because otherwise idk how K-JDs just know that they want to be lawyers.


Internships, shadowing (more the former than the latter, obviously).

You'd base a career path on a few months as an intern? Ok. Def better than being a paralegal for a couple of years I think and much more helpful.

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby TasmanianToucan » Mon May 11, 2015 5:17 pm

I do not believe internships are ever sufficient to evaluate a career. They have none of the pressures and challenges that accompany long-term employment.

stoopkid13
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby stoopkid13 » Mon May 11, 2015 5:41 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:I do not believe internships are ever sufficient to evaluate a career. They have none of the pressures and challenges that accompany long-term employment.


Internships are not a perfect representation of what working full-time would be, but that doesn't mean they can't be helpful.

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KMart
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby KMart » Mon May 11, 2015 5:42 pm

stoopkid13 wrote:
TasmanianToucan wrote:I do not believe internships are ever sufficient to evaluate a career. They have none of the pressures and challenges that accompany long-term employment.


Internships are not a perfect representation of what working full-time would be, but that doesn't mean they can't be helpful.

This is true, I just think a paralegal can offer more help.

Traynor Brah
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby Traynor Brah » Mon May 11, 2015 6:01 pm

TasmanianToucan wrote:I do not believe internships are ever sufficient to evaluate a career. They have none of the pressures and challenges that accompany long-term employment.

The reasoning in this argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that the argument:

A: rebuts a position that was not asserted
B: is tautological
C: wastes valuable space on www.top-law-schools.com
D: is written by an idiot
E: all of the above

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KMart
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby KMart » Mon May 11, 2015 6:02 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:
TasmanianToucan wrote:I do not believe internships are ever sufficient to evaluate a career. They have none of the pressures and challenges that accompany long-term employment.

The reasoning in this argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that the argument:

A: rebuts a position that was not asserted
B: is tautological
C: wastes valuable space on http://www.top-law-schools.com
D: is written by an idiot
E: all of the above

^^ only on TLS.

albpert
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby albpert » Mon May 11, 2015 6:11 pm

I would not get experience as a paralegal.

Imagine in two years you decide law's not for you. Good luck getting a upward mobile non-law career going without further graduate education after 2 years experience as a paralegal. The alternative is you like the law and you go to law school, which plenty of people determine without 2 years as a paralegal. Where is the upside?

Do you something you think you'll enjoy and if in two years you still want to go to law school, go.

Traynor Brah
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Re: What type of job did you do before law school and what would you recommend?

Postby Traynor Brah » Mon May 11, 2015 6:22 pm

albpert wrote:I would not get experience as a paralegal.

Imagine in two years you decide law's not for you. Good luck getting a upward mobile non-law career going without further graduate education after 2 years experience as a paralegal. The alternative is you like the law and you go to law school, which plenty of people determine without 2 years as a paralegal. Where is the upside?

Do you something you think you'll enjoy and if in two years you still want to go to law school, go.

This is a credited response.




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