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Would it be ok to say that I want to go to law school when applying for a full-time job?

leejenny1004leejenny1004 Member
edited August 2020 in Law School Admissions 12 karma

Hi everyone, first of all thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
I'm a 23-year-old international student; just got my bachelors degree this year. I've always had my mind on going to law school but wasn't so sure about it, but during my current internship it became clear that I really do want to go to law school.
However, the thing is that I think I want to apply for a new internship that could turn into a full-time job (in management consulting) in the hopes of 1) gaining financial independence 2) obtaining industry knowledge and/or practice critical thinking in the real world. I am thinking of having a full-time job (hopefully this job that I'm applying for🙏) for about 1-2 years before I go to law school, but the application process of this new internship requires that I write about my career goals. Do you think it would be ok if I tell them honestly that I'm planning to go to law school?

Comments

  • sgreer2015sgreer2015 Alum Member
    73 karma

    When I interviewed for what is my current full time job, I did tell them that I wanted to go to law school. I only told them because they asked, though. I told them that I was hoping to go to law school at some point, but I did not provide a specific timeline, and if possible/ if they ask why you may want to explain how going to law school would make you a more valuable employee. Definitely be honest if they ask about future ambitions, but I wouldn't volunteer the information if not asked.

  • noonawoonnoonawoon Alum Member
    edited August 2020 3481 karma

    I'm going to disagree and say you shouldn't talk about law school. Talk about how you plan to grow and learn within the company and as an analyst/consultant. For all you know, your timeline may be pushed back and you end up going to law school after longer than 1-2 years. If you mention upfront that you plan to bounce in a year, the company is ~probably~ not going to want to invest in hiring and training you over someone who doesn't plan to leave soon.

    I don't think it's dishonest to omit law school in your applications and to focus on how you plan to grow as a consultant. There's no obligation to mention every possible career path you see yourself considering in a job application. I've been working as a management consultant for over a year since graduating college. When I interviewed for the job I had a vague/uncertain idea that I may want to go to law school at some point. I didn't mention it in my application or interview. :) I was also strongly considering staying at the company for ~5 years, getting a masters relevant to the job (the company reimburses), etc. My plans ended up being guided by my experience at the job, and I'm sure yours will be too. Unless you have a seat deposit down and will be definitively going to a law school in X amount of time, I don't think it's necessary/helpful to mention it

  • caw8tzzzcaw8tzzz Alum Member
    135 karma

    Hi, please remember that a company wants what is best for them, not necessarily you, so be cautious with what you tell them. If they ask where you want to be in five years, be honest and say that you are interested in pursuing law, but make sure you explain how that relates to the position that you are trying to get now. Do not offer a definite timeline of when you expect to go to law school.

  • alexissydneyalexissydney Alum Member
    69 karma

    I also told my employer that i was interested in going to law school at some point and they saw this as a positive. I think if you plan to be there for a few years, it's ok to disclose if they ask.

  • btownsqueebtownsquee Alum Member
    edited August 2020 1202 karma

    You do not need to let them know that you are thinking of going to law school. Most employers expect you to be promoted or move on from the company in about two years anyways so don't think of it as hiding a huge secret.

    I advise against telling your employer about your law school plans. You are giving them a reason to not hire you; I recommend going for the job with full gusto and as you do well, you can ask the people you have impressed and those you trust for letters of recommendation. Do not come in with the expectation that you will do well and have letters ready to go because you told them you were going to law school.

    Telling them you want to go to law school may also hinder your professional development; they may not consider you for promotions because you've already told them you're leaving. They may not invest in you as much because you're leaving.

    There are no pros to telling them; only negatives.

    If they explicitly ask you if you're considering graduate school, it is fair to say you are thinking about it but in a few years after you've gotten great work experience. Say your work experience may even change your plans. This is all true!

    Good luck on your job search!

  • leejenny1004leejenny1004 Member
    12 karma

    I see :) I'm getting a grasp of how I should position myself. Thank you very much for all your helpful comments!!

  • mrowley91mrowley91 Alum Member
    203 karma

    Hey! I'm a recruiter and I see both things happen all the time. While I personally understand your career goals (and can relate when someone brings this up when I interview them), it's because I also have that aspiration. However, I've worked with many other recruiters, and this is what I think you should keep in mind: you may talk to someone who's dream job it is to work at that company. It may come across as insensitive or rude if you basically tell them that this is just a stepping stone in your grand plan. However, if you notify them down the road, it's more explainable as a career change because of the great experiences you've gained at that job. I would highly recommend you do not tell them. If they ask about your long-term or 5-year plan, tell them about the financial independence and gaining [insert skills here]. You can always allude to uncertainty in a professional manner by saying that you're "open to new and exciting opportunities." If you have any other questions, feel free to message me!

  • omw2_95th_percentileomw2_95th_percentile Monthly Member
    83 karma

    There is no one size fits all answer to this question. The biggest factor is your personality and charisma. Do you have what it takes to use going to law school as a tool to increase offer amount? I'm in a position that most people would never leave. I brought up my law aspirations in a manner that put the ball in their court which was a gamble but paid off. They actively do what they can to keep me around $$$. But the money doesn't matter.

    The way I see it is that any recruitment service or company has two motivating factors. Profit and security. Their goal is to hire people that fit in and will bring something to the table. They also want to hire people that want to grow within the company and have high aspirations. Look at the company values. See if they have post grad tuition reimbursement programs. Ask what qualifications are desired to grow within the company.

    I absolutely would not allow there to be any secondary thought that you might only be around for a short time. If you can't swing law school aspirations as a benefit for the company don't mention it.

  • winitandbeatitwinitandbeatit Alum Member
    14 karma

    Just breezed through your post. There is no upside for you to share that you want to enroll in a law firm in the next 1 -2 years, and the downside risk is that you get delayed in promotion / other opportunities if they think you will leave soon. However, if you are going into management consulting where it is very typical to get MBAs or JDs after a couple of years, sure, you could mention it. In other industries, I wouldn't share that. The firm would want to hire someone who would stay at the firm as long as possible!

  • leejenny1004leejenny1004 Member
    12 karma

    @mrowley91 said:
    Hey! I'm a recruiter and I see both things happen all the time. While I personally understand your career goals (and can relate when someone brings this up when I interview them), it's because I also have that aspiration. However, I've worked with many other recruiters, and this is what I think you should keep in mind: you may talk to someone who's dream job it is to work at that company. It may come across as insensitive or rude if you basically tell them that this is just a stepping stone in your grand plan. However, if you notify them down the road, it's more explainable as a career change because of the great experiences you've gained at that job. I would highly recommend you do not tell them. If they ask about your long-term or 5-year plan, tell them about the financial independence and gaining [insert skills here]. You can always allude to uncertainty in a professional manner by saying that you're "open to new and exciting opportunities." If you have any other questions, feel free to message me!

    That's great thank you so much for the thoughtful comment :)

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