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Work Experience

chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
edited May 2014 in General 827 karma
Hey Everyone,

I just graduated from University (April 2014) and am planning to write the LSAT September 2014. However, I will not be entering law school until September 2015 (assuming I get accepted). So my question is, I would like to maximize my experience throughout my year off, and would like to hear some suggestions of viable experience options. I will certainly be looking for a full-time/part-time job in order to make some money before entering school for another 3 years, but is there a particular type of job I should look for that would aid me in not only getting accepted to law school, but also potentially aiding my career down the line. Also, is there any places I could volunteer to get some extra experience? I understand it is hard to get experience without having a law degree and what not, but I am looking for some minor things I could do, to give me that extra boost.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • CFC152436CFC152436 Alum Member
    284 karma
    Obviously GPA/LSAT are the the predominant factors in an application, but having good work experience can certainly help as well. You might have some trouble finding a job at a private/corporate law firm. I know one or two firms have summer undergraduate programs, but the vast majority only have summer associate programs (aka, you need to be in law school or you need too have a law degree).

    Volunteer jobs at non-profits aren't that hard to come by, though. Does the Legal Aid Society have an office where you live? That would be a good place to start. There are plenty of other non-profit law firms out there as well that typically have volunteer programs. I've also heard of a lot of people getting volunteer jobs at their local DA (district attorney) office or at their local PD (public defender) office. These kinds of jobs usually aren't paid, but you can probably volunteer twenty hours a week and still work nights. Plus they help you start establishing contacts in the legal world.
  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    Thank you for the reply. The information you gave was perfect, I was looking for somethings I could look into that would be relevant. I don't care if it is paid or not,as long as its not like 40 hrs/week unpaid, in which case I can't support myself. But, I am going to start looking into the suggested areas, as I will have a year off after writing the LSAT so I want to maximize my time off to aid me in getting accepted!
  • k the land surveryork the land surveryor Alum Member
    edited June 2014 49 karma
    You could apply to paralegal jobs. That's the route I took, and I know many of the paralegals at my firm plan to go to law school. It's a great way to get legal experience and also think about the reasons you actually want (or don't want) to be a lawyer.
  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    Can you become a paralegal without an educational background? (ie: paralegal courses @ college) I have a business and economics undergrad, is that sufficient to apply? Also, thanks for the response, I appreciate the assistance
  • k the land surveryork the land surveryor Alum Member
    49 karma
    I was a Political Science major. I think it depends what state you want to work in. I know California requires a paralegal certification/class, but in DC i was able to get the job with just a BA.
  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    3658 karma
    California doesn't require a paralegal certificate. It depends which law firms you apply to. Some require it, others prefer it, and some altogether don't care.
  • Nathalie NguyenNathalie Nguyen Alum Member
    68 karma
    I was a paralegal without a certificate. Depends on the firm. Mine taught me everything to be a paralegal in their business, but if I went somewhere else the expectations might be different.
  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    Wow thanks everyone for all the responses. I am Canadian, so I don't know if that changes anything, but I am certainly going to be looking into it. I never even thought to pursue paralegal for the year off, as I thought having the education was a requirement. I appreciate all the help!
  • Nathalie NguyenNathalie Nguyen Alum Member
    68 karma
    I would definitely research more. Paralegal programs are costly and you're better off without if if you're still considering law. Tuition here in CA from an ABA accredited institution runs about $16,000- $8,000 (non ABA). I think after the experience of being one without a certificate and around an attorney environment just made me save my money and pursue the real thing. One thing I did notice that was different though that may make me a stronger candidate as an attorney is that Paralegals know things not all attorneys know... which may be helpful. Most of my attorneys did not know how to file a subpoena or even format briefs, which I thought was weird!
  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    edited June 2014 3658 karma
    That's what all the paralegals at my firm say. When it actually pertains to the procedural elements of practicing the law, they (paralegals) are much more competent than most attorneys--especially newer attorneys fresh out of law school.
  • 82 karma
    Want to go to law school for free, save a ton of money, and have one hell of a time?

    Join the military.
  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    Wow sorry I missed these responses, I went on a mini 4 day trip to New York and did not realize more people had responded. I have been looking into paralegal jobs (for after the LSAT) but I live in a very small town, making it difficult to find that type of job! As far the military goes, plain and simply... it is not for me. I have an immense amount of respect for those who can and do end up serving, but that is certainly not my place to be, I would get annihilated.
  • stickdaistickdai Alum Member
    15 karma
    go get an internship with United Nations, World Bank, or any renowned think tank, or on Capitol Hill... etc.. That's the route I'm taking.
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