Choosing non-legal job for $$$ = huge mistake? Forum

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Choosing non-legal job for $$$ = huge mistake?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:22 pm

Hi all, hoping to get some advice on a career decision.

After graduating and passing the bar (2015 or 2016 graduate) from a law school ranked around 30, I have had some difficulty finding a job. By way of background, I had a life sciences major and have passed the patent bar. I originally intended to get into biotech IP law, but also have interests / experience in environmental, corporate and litigation (and biotech IP, from what I have seen, almost always requires an advanced degree and/or years of experience). I studied under a professor 1L and worked at a V30 law firm 2L summer in an arrangement where I knew that I would not get an offer, and I graduated top 25% of my class.

Anyway, as many law students, I have a heap of debt that I need to be paying back or become drowned in. I have been offered a field research position (related to my undergraduate major) which would place me working remotely for terms of about three months. My initial commitment is for training and one of the three month terms (think islands and other remote locations which often put me out of the reach of cell and email). The travel part is nice and the money is good enough for me to start taking chunks out of my loans, and probably better than I could get at anything legal except biglaw. The problem is that there is no real path for advancement, and I would really like to settle down at a job where I could start a family and have a clear career progression. I'm also really interested in IP, but this hasn't yet sold me to firms looking for experience and PhDs.

The question is - by taking this position while I take another bar and continue to apply for jobs (in the interims of my field work), am I going to be screwing myself over by taking a non-legal job and losing opportunities to network (I am currently living near a major west coast city)? My thought is that, the legal market being as dismal as it is, I am better off working non-legal then going back to school for a masters (in, say, biomedical engineering) which will increase my marketability for patent law, or using spare time to study for the GMAT. In the meantime, I'll be able to pay back some debt and combat the accruing interest, which is starting to scare me. Is this a crazy choice? Should I just tough it out, beg for financial support, and keep churning apps to law firms? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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