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Author Topic: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?  (Read 1369 times)

kingofcool

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Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« on: March 11, 2008, 10:02:04 PM »
I am def. taking at least a year off because I am not taking the LSAT until October (although I probably would have taken the year off even if I was eligible for this coming up fall).

So the question is pretty self explanatory, here are the options:

1) Graduate certificate in "heritage preservation".  You do have to take the GRE and go through the same application process as the masters program.  It seems to be good because it can prove graduate level work, it is a one year (18 hr) program that seems to pretty competitive and most importantly, it is at the university I would like to attend law school.  That being said the glaring problem is it does not pertain to law any way, shape or form. 

2)  Paralegal certificate from a good school.  It is only affiliated with the school and you are not considered a student.  It is not just pass/fail which might be worthwhile in order to show flawless grades in the classes.  Obviously with this option I would work as a paralegal for the remaining time of the year (program is six months, drawn out!) or work as a paralegal for another year as well.

3) Global Policy Studies certificate at a good school.  It is only a 12 hr program and to be honest, although it does seem to pertain to law more than the first option, I'm not particularly thrilled with Global issues but I am willing to whore myself out to make myself look as attractive as possible.

4) What did ya'll do that you felt like helped?


kingofcool

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2008, 10:23:59 PM »
I guess I should clarify 1) is Georgia State (preferred law school well) 2) Emory Paralegal Certificate 3) UGA

kingofcool

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2008, 10:42:53 PM »
Thanks for the response.  I've heard so many varying opinions and just trying to get some more.  The paralegal certificate, you can work full time and still get it.  Meaning I could work at a law firm (at any position they will offer) while getting the certificate and eventually become a paralegal.  Blah blah blah....


I was kind of looking for some unique ideas as well.  I'm not going to cry myself to sleep if my 'options' seem to all suck. 

Blondie918

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 11:07:05 PM »
I am a paralegal at Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, and I did not have to get a parelegal certificate.           

rekopter

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2008, 11:46:37 PM »
The October test date is not too late for next cycle. Honestly, all of these options appear massively worse than going to law school.

Lobstah!

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 11:56:53 PM »
I took time off to work for a big firm as well. I would tend to agree with the others- don't waste the time/money to get a paralegal certificate. If you can get any kind of job working at a firm and make some connections there to solidify a summer associateship then you're money.

Also, I know that the titles 'paralegal' and 'legal assistant' differ from coast to coast and in the midwest, but either way you run the chance of getting pigeon-holed into some boring stuff if you're unlucky. You could get stuck just doing UCC searches for a whole year!

Given that working at a firm can be beneficial, I think it warrants mentioning that you shouldn't treat that as your only option. A lot of people also suggest just finding something you like and doing that. If you're happy with where your numbers will get you then you can just use the experience of being out of school to mature and gain a level of confidence that is often difficult to do going right from school to more school.


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Kingdom of Lizards

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 12:13:24 AM »
To those who worked in law firms, how did you go about obtaining the position? Did you just call them up, saw help wanted adds, etc??

Lobstah!

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 12:37:52 AM »
To those who worked in law firms, how did you go about obtaining the position? Did you just call them up, saw help wanted adds, etc??

You could check their websites for openings, but I think the best way would be to just call up the HR department. A lot of places might have positions brewing or on the back burner (especially right now with the credit crunch) that they haven't posted yet. If you got word that there may be an opening soon you could get on the ball and be ready for when that happens.

If you aren't having any luck that way, another really good method for getting your foot in the door is through a staffing agency that specializes in legal staffing (e.g. Spencer Reed for south and midwest regions).
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Blondie918

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 06:44:35 AM »
I called the HR dept in April of my Senior year, I was told that there would be a lot of openings beginning in July, went through my 3 interviews starting in May and started my job June 30.  A lot of the bigger firms do want a 2 year commitment though, but going into my 2 years I think it was well worth it and that it really helped me decide that law school was what I want to do.

rekopter

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Re: Common Question: What to do with the year in between?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 08:56:27 AM »
The October test date is not too late for next cycle. Honestly, all of these options appear massively worse than going to law school.

including working?!  A year off from school can be really beneficial and insightful...

All of the options given by the OP involve more school.