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Part-time or Full-time job?

Wendy Y.Wendy Y. Monthly Member
in Off-topic 50 karma

I will be graduating in May(undergrad) and I am not sure whether taking a part-time job or a full-time job is better after graduation. Most paralegal positions are full-time. I will likely to get a more rounded experience in law if I take the position, but does it matter if I choose a part time job that is not relevant to law? I want more time to study the LSAT. I am not sure if a random, unrelated job will hurt my application in the future. Please help! Thank you!


  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    Pre-law school jobs, while important, pale in comparison to the impact a good LSAT score will have. The LSAT + GPA accounts for the majority of weight that makes up your application, whereas a job might swing the vote in favor of two otherwise equal candidates.

    As for what the job is, school don’t seem to care all that much. Work experience in general is a booster, not so much specifics of the job. They just want to see that you are reliable, willing to put in work, and don’t shun responsibility.

    So my vote would be part time work with full focus on LSAT.

    That said - if you have no experience in the legal field whatsoever - it might be nice to see what the job really entails before you plummet yourself into law school.

  • BlindReviewerBlindReviewer Alum Member
    855 karma

    I would agree with the above -- as a paralegal myself, I really don't think you need that much more exposure than part time would allow. It's a great experience for the exposure and people you meet, but in terms of actual skills and self-development I feel like there isn't much.

  • Kate.carwinKate.carwin Legacy Member
    8 karma

    I worked full time as a conflict analyst at a large multinational law firm after undergrad. My experience there looks good on paper in a very limited sense. Ultimately, it wasn't worth the sacrifice to my LSAT score. If you have resources available that will allow you to work part-time (i.e. you won't have to worry about food/clothing/shelter), I would suggest just focusing on getting a great score on the LSAT. My husband and a number of my friends are attorneys at large firms. Based on their experience and my own, I would say that getting into a good school and securing a scholarship should be an immediate priority if you want to pursue a legal career. It matters. Sacrificing now for the sake of a good score will yield a number of pivotal benefits/opportunities in the long term.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    I agree with much of what has been said. I graduated and was a waiter for a while, though I was forced to get a full-time position recently doing compliance work for the county. I've been on both sides of the study time. Full-time jobs suck a lot of your day. I'm still trying to adjust!

    If you are just starting out in the CC, then part-time might be best. If you are like me who has been studying for a few years and has gone through the CC (and a few LSAT sittings) you probably can manage a full time position.

    I agree with @LSATcantwin that the gain from full-time work only goes so far! A great LSAT score will take you much further than solid work experience! Good luck friend!

  • ExcludedMiddleExcludedMiddle Alum Member
    737 karma

    There's things to factor into this on both sides I think. The part-time job thing sounds great in theory, but I'd imagine, depending on where you're located, those part-time paralegal jobs will be in lower supply and may be harder to land. Most firms tend to be looking for full-time positions, in my experience, though YMMV. If you're through the CC, too, you may find doing both isn't out of the question, as another person pointed out. Best of luck to you either way with whatever you decide.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    I will step in on the side of working a full-time job + studying (which is what I did) immediately after graduation. I worked full time at a policy nonprofit, and I studied whenever I could-----on my train commute, when I got home, and on weekends. It was definitely hard, but I think it was worth it.

    Pros: I think it made a difference for my application success. Working full-time in a field that relates to my law career goals (I want to go into public interest) I think helped back up my application. It also showed me that I don't want to do certain aspects of my job, a valuable lesson. And now that I've gotten in and have gone to Admitted Student Weekend and met other students, I'm so glad I spent the year after graduation working in public interest, especially after meeting my future peers who have lots of great work experience in their sectors and that relates to their law interests. Having been in the trenches offers concrete perspective that people who go straight through or who take the year off to study don't have.

    Cons: Obviously, the time commitment was hard. I was exhausted sometimes and forcing myself to study after work or on weekends was challenging. I also purposely looked for a job that didn't expect crazy 50+ hour weeks (although coming right out of graduation you can definitely find an awesome entry level job that is both interesting but not overly arduous). It was also challenging to work full-time and come home and work on my application, but it is possible.

    And I still managed to get a 172 with the full time job! So while it's not for everyone, I am so glad I decided to find a full-time job in public interest and study/apply at the same time. If you do this though make sure you have a serious plan in place for studying and don't stray from it. Good luck!

  • Wendy Y.Wendy Y. Monthly Member
    50 karma

    Thank you all! I decided to do part-time instead because my LSAT score right now is really low. I have a lot of studying to do. I am also not sure which specific field I want to get into (although I have two~three on my minds), part-time will definitely give me more time to think this through and study.

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