Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

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shohreh

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Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by shohreh » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:44 pm

Hi,

I am in at HYS and am considering take a year off to work and save some $$ and take a job in DC. I figured it will help me at OCI when I bid on DC firms. I'm not Do you think it'll help establish ties or not?

nixy

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by nixy » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:53 pm

I have the impression that DC cares a lot more about grades than ties, and I don’t think working for a year is going to give you enough experience to make a big difference at OCI. I think it's still a good idea to take the year off, for the money and the personal growth, though.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:59 pm

I agree with nixy. You should definitely do this if you even semi-like the job you're taking, but it's not going to make a huge difference at OCI in particular.

64Fl

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by 64Fl » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:17 am

I'm not sure I agree with taking time off for the money. Get paid $70k-$80k in DC or accelerate your start at $190k. Seems like an easy choice to me.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:50 am

shohreh wrote:Hi,

I am in at HYS and am considering take a year off to work and save some $$ and take a job in DC. I figured it will help me at OCI when I bid on DC firms. I'm not Do you think it'll help establish ties or not?
I hate to be this guy, but what?

Regardless, 64FI is spot on assuming you're going BigLaw (which OCI suggests). Why would you take a year off of law school to earn $80,000 when you can start at BigLaw a year earlier and earn over $100,000 more?

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nealric

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by nealric » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
shohreh wrote:Hi,

I am in at HYS and am considering take a year off to work and save some $$ and take a job in DC. I figured it will help me at OCI when I bid on DC firms. I'm not Do you think it'll help establish ties or not?
I hate to be this guy, but what?

Regardless, 64FI is spot on assuming you're going BigLaw (which OCI suggests). Why would you take a year off of law school to earn $80,000 when you can start at BigLaw a year earlier and earn over $100,000 more?
I suppose it depends on what the job is, but finances aside I think it's always a good idea to take at least a year to work between undergrad and law school. At the very least, it can give you perspective on careers outside of law and the workplace in general.

shohreh

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by shohreh » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:36 pm

nixy wrote:I have the impression that DC cares a lot more about grades than ties, and I don’t think working for a year is going to give you enough experience to make a big difference at OCI. I think it's still a good idea to take the year off, for the money and the personal growth, though.
Thanks for your feedback nixy. And I apologize for the awkward grammar it totally slipped.

shohreh

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by shohreh » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
shohreh wrote:Hi,

I am in at HYS and am considering take a year off to work and save some $$ and take a job in DC. I figured it will help me at OCI when I bid on DC firms. I'm not Do you think it'll help establish ties or not?
I hate to be this guy, but what?

Regardless, 64FI is spot on assuming you're going BigLaw (which OCI suggests). Why would you take a year off of law school to earn $80,000 when you can start at BigLaw a year earlier and earn over $100,000 more?
I agree with you guys, but as is I'm a K-JD and I keep hearing anecdotes about K-JDs being clueless at their 2L SAs or underperforming their grades at OCI.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:43 pm

64Fl wrote:I'm not sure I agree with taking time off for the money. Get paid $70k-$80k in DC or accelerate your start at $190k. Seems like an easy choice to me.
Enjoy your early 20's while you can or dive face-first into the hell that is early-career legal practice. Seems like an easy choice to me.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:08 pm

I agree with the posters that are saying to defer, as well as nixy's point that DC firms/judges won't care a whole lot about geographic ties. I think you should try to have a productive year in DC feeling out whether you'd actually want to work there, making friends/connections, and getting a firsthand taste of the cost of living/weather/culture. Being K-JD isn't *that* big of a setback---particularly where your JD is from HYS---but experience and maturity before law school pay dividends down the road, not just at OCI.

yankees12345!

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by yankees12345! » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:17 pm

Working big law is honestly a drag and not something you’ll likely want to make a career.

Definitely take the job and defer to get some experience and different life perspectives under your belt.

It will give you an advantage during 1L, too, a lot of the K-JDs are relatively clueless.
Last edited by yankees12345! on Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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papermateflair

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by papermateflair » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:18 pm

My firm has looked pretty favorably on folks who take a year or two to work (our evaluation form specifically asks about work experience). And my firm does care a little bit about DC ties for summer associates - especially when we're interviewing summer associates who want to do work that isn't DC specific (litigation, M&A, etc.) and who have literally never spent time in DC. We get why you want to come work here to do regulatory work, but if you're passionate about litigation that you can do anywhere, you need to have at least one reason why you want to litigate in DC. All things equal, a summer candidate who has worked in DC for a year vs the exact same candidate who is K-JD without ever having lived in DC would definitely have a leg up. I don't want it to sound like we won't hire folks without ties or work experience (I mean, I got hired and I had no DC ties and I was K-JD so what do I know) but I think it helps on the margins.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by notinbiglaw » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:46 pm

I see two situations where this makes sense:
1. job is directly related to getting biglaw position later. (like literally paralegal at a biglaw or in some kind of GC office)
2. you're not 100% sold on biglaw career and want to spend a year exploring another career.

If you don't fit either, taking a year is dumb.

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nixy

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by nixy » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:49 pm

notinbiglaw wrote:I see two situations where this makes sense:
1. job is directly related to getting biglaw position later. (like literally paralegal at a biglaw or in some kind of GC office)
2. you're not 100% sold on biglaw career and want to spend a year exploring another career.

If you don't fit either, taking a year is dumb.
But also 3. It’s really useful to learn something about what it’s like to work full time and what you do/don’t like in a job before you spend a ton of money and three years based on assumptions about those things, but no experience.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by notinbiglaw » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:52 pm

I like that point. I pretty much folded your point into 2 in my head but now you wrote you it out, I agree it deserves its own bullet.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by nixy » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:57 pm

They are kind of closely related, so I get that.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by 64Fl » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:07 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
64Fl wrote:I'm not sure I agree with taking time off for the money. Get paid $70k-$80k in DC or accelerate your start at $190k. Seems like an easy choice to me.
Enjoy your early 20's while you can or dive face-first into the hell that is early-career legal practice. Seems like an easy choice to me.
K-JD here. Several years into this biglaw schtick (so now in my late 20s). Law school was a joke, and I popped out of it at 25 making stupid money. I'm still having plenty of fun with life. Early career legal practice isn't hell in every practice group at every firm. But, yeah, if you pop out of law school into Kirkland's PE/M&A group, have fun with that.

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lawlo

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by lawlo » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:58 pm

64Fl wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
64Fl wrote:I'm not sure I agree with taking time off for the money. Get paid $70k-$80k in DC or accelerate your start at $190k. Seems like an easy choice to me.
Enjoy your early 20's while you can or dive face-first into the hell that is early-career legal practice. Seems like an easy choice to me.
K-JD here. Several years into this biglaw schtick (so now in my late 20s). Law school was a joke, and I popped out of it at 25 making stupid money. I'm still having plenty of fun with life. Early career legal practice isn't hell in every practice group at every firm. But, yeah, if you pop out of law school into Kirkland's PE/M&A group, have fun with that.
What makes Kirkland's group any worse than other such groups at comparable firms e.g., STB, DPW, Latham, etc.? Not sure what practice group you're in but >2100 hours per year sucks no matter what.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by AllAboutTheBasis » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:47 am

Going to throw my hat in for working in DC for a year. It’ll give you a sense about what you do and don’t like about your job which, hopefully, can give you some idea about you would want in a legal practice.

FWIW, I worked for two years prior to law school and think it was the best decision I ever made. Applications were ready but a cool job came up in a major city. It helps you mature a little, save some money, and have fun in a way you can’t as a student.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:44 pm

nixy wrote:
notinbiglaw wrote:I see two situations where this makes sense:
1. job is directly related to getting biglaw position later. (like literally paralegal at a biglaw or in some kind of GC office)
2. you're not 100% sold on biglaw career and want to spend a year exploring another career.

If you don't fit either, taking a year is dumb.
But also 3. It’s really useful to learn something about what it’s like to work full time and what you do/don’t like in a job before you spend a ton of money and three years based on assumptions about those things, but no experience.
I agree with 2/3, but it would be silly for someone who already got into HYS to delay starting to spend a year as a BigLaw paralegal. You're not going to learn anything, not going to impress anyone at OCI, not going to have much fun, and not going to bank any money.

I'm not criticizing paralegal-ing as a first-job-out-of-school, but like...why would you delay going to Harvard Law to spend a year making binders at Covington.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by nixy » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:04 pm

Because it’s not going to change your aid at HLS (ie you’re not going to give up a scholarship) and the point of the experience isn’t that making binders is life changing, but that living on your own and working full time before you go to law school is valuable for personal growth (and not being a K-JD).

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by Iowahawk » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:09 pm

KJD is a drawback at OCI, but non-KJDs seriously overestimate the benefits of work experience in general; it obviously has some benefits but the financial hit is significant. Supposed academic benefits are particularly suspect, liquid intelligence peaks disturbingly early and academic honors and LR are were significantly disproportionately KJD at the CCN I attended.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by galba » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:41 pm

Iowahawk wrote:KJD is a drawback at OCI, but non-KJDs seriously overestimate the benefits of work experience in general; it obviously has some benefits but the financial hit is significant. Supposed academic benefits are particularly suspect, liquid intelligence peaks disturbingly early and academic honors and LR are were significantly disproportionately KJD at the CCN I attended.
There are valid arguments for and against deferring admission, but the idea that KJDs do better in law school because they have superior "liquid intelligence" is hilariously stupid. Your empirical claim is likewise, to borrow your terminology, "particularly suspect." For example: of the 12 people who received Columbia's highest academic honor last year (RBG prize), not a single one was a KJD.

nixy

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by nixy » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:30 am

Plus, the OP is considering deferring for *one year.* They're not going to magically get stupider in one year.

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Re: Defer LS for a year to work in DC?

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:38 am

galba wrote:
Iowahawk wrote:KJD is a drawback at OCI, but non-KJDs seriously overestimate the benefits of work experience in general; it obviously has some benefits but the financial hit is significant. Supposed academic benefits are particularly suspect, liquid intelligence peaks disturbingly early and academic honors and LR are were significantly disproportionately KJD at the CCN I attended.
There are valid arguments for and against deferring admission, but the idea that KJDs do better in law school because they have superior "liquid intelligence" is hilariously stupid. Your empirical claim is likewise, to borrow your terminology, "particularly suspect." For example: of the 12 people who received Columbia's highest academic honor last year (RBG prize), not a single one was a KJD.
+1. That's the most absurdly pseudo-scientific argument I've heard for not taking a gap year (or five).

I don't think K-JDs ever fully understand the benefit of work experience, largely because only their colleagues notice the effects of them not having any.

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