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Author Topic: Will Going to Law School PART TIME have an adverse affect on career prospects?  (Read 3617 times)

thejacker112

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the title says it all.  I could use some help getting part time cleared up.  if i go to part time and transfer into full time.  will i be disadvantaged in any way?

czarevich

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the title says it all.  I could use some help getting part time cleared up.  if i go to part time and transfer into full time.  will i be disadvantaged in any way?

It depends.  It may be difficult for you to do internships and externships during law school as most PT programs require that you do coursework over the summers.  The PT program at Cardozo, however, would have you caught up with the FT program by the end of the first year.  Also, are you planning on working while PT?  As difficult as it may seem, I think prospective employers may frown upon you if you are PT and don't have a job or not pursuing a joint degree program...

PillowPants

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well im guessing you will actually get more work experience during PT because you will be able to work during the year more so than thsoe going FT, which means more time to make an impression on possible future employers.

Also I am pretty sure most career services at schools help 1Ls get jobs, whereas they cant even talk to those who are FT for a long while.

I can see it both ways, but if you play it right it could actually be an advantage
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UVAnProud2L

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From what I gather, most PT programs are not viewed on the same level as the FT programs. The only exceptions are if you have had a meaningful job for a while or if you have family obligations (mother busy raising her kids for example). When I got into GULC PT, I asked some lawyers the same question. What I found out was that they all know that PT programs are easier to get in to. You can't just go to a PT program, grab a random nearby job, and hope that you will be looked upon favorably. Employers aren't stupid and know this trick very well.

I ended up choosing a lesser ranked FT program over GULC PT. If you are going PT, I suggest to go to a PT program that is "top dog" in the area. So GULC PT for DC, Fordham PT for NYC, Loyola for LA. IMO, the respectable PT programs are GULC and Fordham. Going to law school in the evening blows, so you mind as well do it for a school that will make it worth your while.

UVAnProud2L

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The same could be said for anything else. If you go to a TTT law school and become a great lawyer, your school doesn't matter. The OP asked if PT will have an adverse affect on career prospects and it does in many cases (unless you have a very good reason for it like I explained in my previous post). OCIs come before your degree, so yes...PT (unless you are an established professional or you are raising children) can certainly have an adverse affect on your career prospects.

UVAnProud2L

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Maybe in OCI but if you apply to any jobs in the regular world they aren't going to ask if you were part time or full time - they are going to see the degree on your resume.

Yeah you're right on that, non-legal employers can't tell the difference once you get your degree. But if you are just going to get a non-legal job with a JD, what was the point of the JD anyway? It does not do very much to boost your prospects without good legal experience. A JD is practically useless if it is just the degree itself. You can't just apply to companies and expect them to trust your legal expertise just because you had a JD. That is where PT status can affect your prospects because it can hurt you when you are trying to get that initial legal experience. It certainly won't hurt those that the program was meant to be for, but it will for those who are using it as a backdoor to get into a FT program they had no chance of getting in to.

No offense, but why are you so defensive about PT? I'm just stating what I've learned from experience working at a non-legal company and at a big law firm.

czarevich

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What do you think about going to law school during the evening and doing a joint degree master's during the day? 

Harsh Reality

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It's all about grades, at the end of the day, they'll take a part-time student in the top 10% of the class over the full-time student who is not.

You won't even get an interview if your grades are no good.

They don't care how amazing your internship is if your grades aren't good.  Plus, most internships aren't that meaningful considering that you're working Part-time.


newtocali

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how would the future employers know if you are in PT or FT anyway? doesn't your degree say "fordham university school of law"? i would be surprised if they wrote under it something like "yea but it doesnt count cause they went PT anyway"

let's say someone has a kid or kids and goes PT, would this effect them badly if they were not taking a job in the meantime?
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nealric

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If anything, I think going PT can help job prospects.

My experience is that nobody holds PT status against you, but your job experience can only work for you.
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