Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
wildcathighfive
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby wildcathighfive » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:44 pm

brupe wrote:Haha, yeah, I work at a firm with 6 -soon to be 4- lawyers where there is no dress code (as in jeans EVERYDAY)
and its a much more laid back experience :)



my jealousy is palpable. well, at least i learned what i don't want, right? hahaha

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:04 am

brupe wrote:Haha, yeah, I work at a firm with 6 -soon to be 4- lawyers where there is no dress code (as in jeans EVERYDAY)
and its a much more laid back experience :)

I interned at one that was business casual for awhile but that's insane. Really insane. What were their work hours like weekly? I might be working at a group like that for the second half of the summer. That sounds like a dream job. I did work for someone who left the V10 to be able to do something like that. I never did dress that way of course....everyone could tell I was the intern because of it.

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McNulty
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby McNulty » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:06 am

I also will have had 3 years of full-time work between college and school. Honestly, working full-time did more for my time management and study habits than college... maybe because free time is at a serious premium! Also, if you work in the legal industry you can get a taste of what you're in for (and it might change your mind either way).

GentlemanJim
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby GentlemanJim » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:45 am

I will have taken 4 years off. Great work experience that really did wonders for me, but I'm ready to get a move on.

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sojuteacher
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby sojuteacher » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:44 am

It's my second year in the work force and I'm happy for it. Got some good experience at a law firm my first year (and a good LOR) and now I'm in Korea teaching English. It's great to be out of school experiencing different things, and a few years postponing law school won't make a difference in your career.

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sojuteacher
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby sojuteacher » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:43 am

It's my second year in the work force and I'm happy for it. Got some good experience at a law firm my first year (and a good LOR) and now I'm in Korea teaching English. It's great to be out of school experiencing different things, and a few years postponing law school won't make a difference in your career.

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Lwoods
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby Lwoods » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:12 am

Non-Chalant1 wrote:
cmk wrote:
Lwoods wrote:I should note that I worked every school break and held 4 internships in college. While they were valuable experiences, they didn't offer anywhere near the perspective I gained working full time post-college.


Could not agree with that statement more.

I actually have a question about that. Either one of or both of you can answer. To what extent did these jobs differ from your internships? Did you get to do anything substantive at your internships in college or were they those ones where they just have you filing (which sucks). I know your jobs obviously had added responsibility, but how far of a departure were they from where you interned?


Well, actually, I did more filing in my first full time job (as a legal secretary) than any of my internships... none of which involved filing, coffee fetching, etc. :wink:

To compare within the same industry, though, I had an internship at an Off-Broadway company in college and then produced an Off-Broadway show independently after college. I used what I learned at my internship and in my classes, but the big difference is that when I was the producer, I was responsible. My cast and crew looked to me, and I had to make the decisions, to give the final call.

For a less extreme comparison, I'll take my current role as an analyst for a specialty retailer compared to the role of our group's summer intern. He was a great contributor to our team and ran analysis that we used regularly. At the end of the day, though, while he contributed to the business, he couldn't really screw anything up. He couldn't make any decisions. Even though I advise decisions more often than make them myself, I do still make them, and my reviews are based on how my decisions impact the business.

That leads into another big difference between holding internships and full-time work: I am dependent on the latter for my livelihood. My raises and bonuses are based on my performance. I have to maintain a household budget, to pay rent and bills. I realize some have to do this in college, but for me it's just a different reality.

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ach24
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby ach24 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:53 am

.
Last edited by ach24 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lwoods
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby Lwoods » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:58 am

ach24 wrote:
wildcathighfive wrote:
ach24 wrote:
brupe wrote:I definitely recommend taking a year off AND working in the legal sector.


I agree with you. Working in the legal sector really made it clear to me that this is what I want to do. I've worked with a lot of people who work in the legal field and are miserable. I actually enjoy my job and look forward to it everyday. Honestly, I'm not sure that I would have pursued law had I not had the experience working for a firm. I probably would have gone down an entirely different path.



haha wow so funny--i am having an entirely different experience. i work as a paralegal at a v10 firm and i now know that i will never work in biglaw if i can help it.


I don't work big law, and I never have. Just small and mid-size.


fwiw, I worked for a V50 BigLaw firm and shared your original sentiment. (I only left because I moved). Still, there are a lot of different lawyer jobs out there, and they appeal to different people. I think it's great to work in law to see what you like.

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Swanky
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby Swanky » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:03 pm

Take time off! I will have had 2 and a half years of work experience by the time I enroll next fall. It's given me some time to experience life out of the university bubble, to meet people who support themselves in a variety of ways, and to learn important work and life skills. Graduating right into a recession was also a good reality check for me. I feel that I'm far more mature at (almost) 25 than I was at 22, that I'll get much more out of a legal education.

Get a job, travel, work for awhile. Make sure law school is what you really want, not what you think is the "logical" next step.

msu1077
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby msu1077 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:13 pm

It has been such a breath of fresh air reading the posts of everyone who has been out of university for a few years or more. I was honestly beginning to think I wasn't going to fit in very well in law school with some of the opinions that are expressed in these forums.

I have been working as a paralegal for over 6 years in Las Vegas, in small to mid-size firms, and I am so happy to hear that others have had similar experiences that have lead them to apply to law school. (Slightly disheartened, because I really focused on my experience in my PS and was hoping to be slightly more unique than I probably will end up being. Happy nonetheless :D )

Thanks to the OP and to everyone who has posted to this forum. It makes me feel much more optimistic about the prospect of attending law school!

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amd34119
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby amd34119 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:05 am

I'll be ten years post-undergrad when I start school in the Fall, and a decade in the workforce has provided me time to grow up. It's as simple and complicated as that. Time to learn how to deal with difficult personalities, effectively but gracefully. Time to recognize when to respect tradition and when to offer alternatives. Time to get (most) shenanigans out of my system.

And, yes, it's provided me with some of that cliched "life experience" that, I think, is easing this process a bit. None of us are oblivious to the general consensus that law school is ill-advised right now for all but the top applicants accepting schollies to T14 schools. I'm not going into this with rose-colored glasses by any means, but I'm also not at the distinct disadvantage of having to rely on the opinions of others in terms of how tough it is "out there" when making this enormous, life-altering decision. It IS tough. Most of us AREN'T going to be handed a job at graduation. We WILL have to work for our opportunities - every single one of them - and the competition will be beyond fierce.

Law students and lawyers have not cornered the market on having to work hard, though. They are not the only folks currently faced with the very real possibility of unemployment or having to accept a less-than-stellar salary or position. Knowing this firsthand from spending the last several years weathering the storm is reassuring. Salaries, competition for jobs, etc. - life is not patently better or easier outside the legal market. It's just oftentimes lived with less student debt.

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SamSeaborn2016
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby SamSeaborn2016 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:09 am

I took 7 years off between undergrad and law school and I'm so glad I did. I can't imagine trying to do it at 22 or 23.

cfk1986
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby cfk1986 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:57 am

someone earlier said that the difference in maturity between 22-25 is huge, and i couldn't agree more. I am 25 now and I think I will do soooo much better in law school than if i had started when I was 22. Of course you should work some, but my advice is to travel, get out of the united states. i am currently backpacking across india and it is the most valuable experience of my life. Once law school starts that is it for the rest of your life, so if you want to do something like that you have a few golden years before law school starts.

cfk1986
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby cfk1986 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:07 am

additionally, and everyone can feel free to disagree with this vehemently if you want, i spent a year where all i did was work 30 hours a week in a restaraunt, party, date waitresses, lift weights, and get 10 hours of sleep every night...it was perfection, though there isn't a lot of personal growth in that, but for a year it was great.

why would you ever go straight from UG... don't rush it, live a little. Most people will be much better prepared at 25 to devote themselves to this than they would have been at 22. I took the Feb LSAT, contacted all my LOR in March, and gave myself 5 months to brainstorm essay topics and make sure I had everything lined up... and it has paid off huge (NYU/MICH/CORNELL acceptances)

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Swanky
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby Swanky » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:46 pm

cfk1986 wrote:additionally, and everyone can feel free to disagree with this vehemently if you want, i spent a year where all i did was work 30 hours a week in a restaraunt, party, date waitresses, lift weights, and get 10 hours of sleep every night...it was perfection, though there isn't a lot of personal growth in that, but for a year it was great.

why would you ever go straight from UG... don't rush it, live a little. Most people will be much better prepared at 25 to devote themselves to this than they would have been at 22. I took the Feb LSAT, contacted all my LOR in March, and gave myself 5 months to brainstorm essay topics and make sure I had everything lined up... and it has paid off huge (NYU/MICH/CORNELL acceptances)


I think you can experience personal growth and learn quite a lot even when you're enjoying leisure time the way you have. Really, any experience can be enriching, even just taking time off from school to recharge.

krad
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby krad » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:50 pm

cfk1986 wrote:someone earlier said that the difference in maturity between 22-25 is huge, and i couldn't agree more. I am 25 now and I think I will do soooo much better in law school than if i had started when I was 22. Of course you should work some, but my advice is to travel, get out of the united states. i am currently backpacking across india and it is the most valuable experience of my life. Once law school starts that is it for the rest of your life, so if you want to do something like that you have a few golden years before law school starts.


Awesome! I agree, I lived in Oxford for work and traveled tons on the weekends and took a few longer trips (in addition to having traveled extensively before moving abroad). Traveling can teach you things that you'd never learn otherwise...

Though I find it amusing that you're posting on TLS while in India on your backpacking trip ;)

jgloster
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby jgloster » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:59 pm

Can you "TITCR" an entire thread?
I've decided to work a bit before going to law school (probably no more than two years.)
I'll be graduating at 20 and I've never had a real job before, so I feel it will be a good experience.
However, everyone is me telling to stay in school for various reasons (the economy sucks, it looks bad not to go straight to law school out of undergrad, etc.)
However, I feel working in the real world will give me some valuable knowledge and connections that you can't get in the classroom.
Thanks you guys for your responses to this thread.
Last edited by jgloster on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby nygrrrl » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:24 pm

jgloster wrote:Can you "TITCR" an entire thread?
I've decided to work a bit before going to law school (probably no more than two years.)
I'll be graduating at 20 and I've never had a real job before, so I feel it will be a good experience.
However, everyone is telling to stay in school for various reasons (the economy sucks, it looks bad not to go straight to law school out of undergrad, etc.)
However, I feel working in the real world will give me some valuable knowledge and connections that you can't get in the classroom.
Thanks you guys for your responses to this thread.

:D Heck, honestly? If you're graduating at 20, I'd wait til your 21st birthday then get a job as a bartender, earn some money, date cute girls/boys/whatever you're into, have some FUN. (Gosh, I had a lot of fun my first few years out of college... lol)

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:12 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
jgloster wrote:Can you "TITCR" an entire thread?
I've decided to work a bit before going to law school (probably no more than two years.)
I'll be graduating at 20 and I've never had a real job before, so I feel it will be a good experience.
However, everyone is telling to stay in school for various reasons (the economy sucks, it looks bad not to go straight to law school out of undergrad, etc.)
However, I feel working in the real world will give me some valuable knowledge and connections that you can't get in the classroom.
Thanks you guys for your responses to this thread.

:D Heck, honestly? If you're graduating at 20, I'd wait til your 21st birthday then get a job as a bartender, earn some money, date cute girls/boys/whatever you're into, have some FUN. (Gosh, I had a lot of fun my first few years out of college... lol)

One of my friends is battling with that. With him though, his family is poor and he feels like he likes the law enough through his internships that he'd like corporate law (I would never), and that he would feel selfish spending that time enjoying himself when he could be spending that time moving towards something that will eventually help him support them. He's actually looking at part time at G-Town so he can do both. He's only 22 (VA native) so it would be easy to go back and forth. I tell him he's putting to much pressure on himself, but I find it hard to argue away his point. I think he needs a break because he studies like the engineers up here. I'm worried about a law school breakdown.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:02 am

jgloster wrote:Can you "TITCR" an entire thread?
I've decided to work a bit before going to law school (probably no more than two years.)
I'll be graduating at 20 and I've never had a real job before, so I feel it will be a good experience.
However, everyone is me telling to stay in school for various reasons (the economy sucks, it looks bad not to go straight to law school out of undergrad, etc.)
However, I feel working in the real world will give me some valuable knowledge and connections that you can't get in the classroom.
Thanks you guys for your responses to this thread.



I'm not sure who told you that "it looks bad not to go straight to law school out of undergrad" but that is pretty much the opposite of everything i've ever heard about taking time off. a LOT of people do and it looks great on an application if you do something in line with what you ultimately want to go into or a service job (i.e. paralegal, americorps, etc.) plus you have a little more time to mature and gain some perspective on your life. i'm taking a year off and i think it's made me a more desirable law school candidate and i think it's also done me good physically and mentally/emotionally (since so many of us hyper law types are total basket cases to begin with and i sure as hell was in college. i needed a break.) so IMHO, that was a pretty bad bit of advice there, ESPECIALLY since you are only 20 (or still a teenager even right now??) jesus, you can't even legally drink yet.



edit: i just read that you are taking time off. good. please don't ever question if that was the right decision.

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dresden doll
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:08 am

Paulinaporizkova, I congratulate you on your screenname.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:16 am

dresden doll wrote:Paulinaporizkova, I congratulate you on your screenname.


thanks, i congratulate you on your mean girls avatar

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dresden doll
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:17 am

paulinaporizkova wrote:
dresden doll wrote:Paulinaporizkova, I congratulate you on your screenname.


thanks, i congratulate you on your mean girls avatar


Best screenname I've seen in a while, seriously. Please select a Paulina tar too.

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CSCS Trainer
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Re: Who took time off between undergrad and law school?

Postby CSCS Trainer » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:38 pm

amd34119 wrote:

Law students and lawyers have not cornered the market on having to work hard, though. They are not the only folks currently faced with the very real possibility of unemployment or having to accept a less-than-stellar salary or position. Knowing this firsthand from spending the last several years weathering the storm is reassuring. Salaries, competition for jobs, etc. - life is not patently better or easier outside the legal market. It's just oftentimes lived with less student debt.


I can echo this sentiment. You want to experience hard work, try working a 100% commission job. There is no guarantee of an income from one month to the next if you aren't working your ass off. You rely completely on your clients for your standard of living, and if something in their life changes ( i.e. getting laid off ) guess what, it directly affects your life.

I think what has been said here is get out in the world and get some real life experience under your belt. It can only help prepare you for law school and landing a job afterwards.




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