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Author Topic: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?  (Read 1181 times)

jimbojones

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I'm going to be attending Washington & Lee University law school this fall. I graduated with a BS in Finance this time last year, and ever since I've been working at a manufacturing/design facility run by a fortune 100 company (a heavy-equipment manufacturer).

The fall semester of my junior year of college I interviewed and got an internship at this company's international headquarters in marketing / product support.

I worked full-time through the fall semester of my senior year at this company, hoping to get a full-time position offer that would start following graduation, but I didn't get one.

After I learned that I didn't get the job, I called people at the facility near my hometown/school (where I'm currently working) and got sort of an "extended" internship for the spring semester of my senior year, which is when I was sure I wanted to attend law school after 4 years of off-and-on research (talking to lawyers about what they do on a daily basis, checking out career options in the legal community, and so on).

Since I knew I was going to be attending law school the following fall, and wouldn't be searching for full-time employment, I asked my then boss if I could stay on as an intern until I started law school, and he graciously agreed.

After I graduated from college last May I spent virtually the entire summer studying for the LSAT, preparing my personal statement, and researching law schools; most of this was done at work, because of a lack of things to do. I would literally reserve a conference room for 3 - 5 hours per day and do my TestMasters homework or drafts of my personal statement--I finished my "work-work" that was intended to take a day or two usually within an hour, so needless to say I had an abundance of open time everyday.

At that point, the situation was ideal: I was making $20/hour for doing very little, I had a quiet place to study for the LSAT where there was no phone, TV, or computer to distract me, and I got along extremely well with my boss and co-workers (none of them really cared what I did as long as I got done the little work they gave me).

But after I took the LSAT last october, applied to law schools in November, and got to the point where all I had to do was the 10 minutes of work per day assigned to me and wait around for law schools to reply to my applications, I began to get pretty restless.

Eventually, after Christmas season, things got extremely boring, all my friends moved away to take on full-time jobs, and I started drinking here and there while I played the Xbox I got for Christmas to pass the time.

By February/March, I was coming into work only about 10 hours a week (but still being paid for 40, and nobody seemed to care), and I was drinking quite a bit more, probably 4 - 6 nights per week. Other than going on trips to visit law schools, I had almost nothing to do. I signed up to take "business law" at the local community college, but that only met twice a week, and it's over now.

Now that I've spent over a year at this job doing nothing (and about 8 months where I actually worked honest 8 hour days), I've gained about 30lbs (I used to be in good shape) and I drink quite a bit (not to excess where I'm puking or passing out, but definitely more than I want to, and it's obviously correlated to the weight gain).

Sometimes I feel miserable, but then I think "Hey, in just a few months I'll be out in Virginia (I'm in Illinois now) and I'll be starving for any free time I can get my hands on, so I just need to suck it up, keep getting my $2,800/month, and stick it out." I should also mention that I'm living at home with my parents in the interim, so I am saving up quite a bit of money (I had no undergraduate loans).

But another part of me really wants to quit and find a temporary job outdoors, shed off the weight, and get into a much more disciplined regimen before I start into the rigors of law school.

I would appreciate any perspective opinions from people now in law school or already lawyers who look back to what they did the summer before law school and can offer advice. Should I quit my job and find something else to do this summer? How about quitting and going on a trip every few weeks for the remaining 9 weeks I have?

As I said, any comments are more than welcome.

VanBuren Boys

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2005, 12:38:08 PM »
This is just me personally (I will be a 1L this fall too) but I would keep the cushy job.  I'm kinda in the same situation, not making as much money, but pretty much getting paid for showing up.  It's boring, but I'm sure if I was just hanging out at home, I would just be eating junk food and watching tv.  In fact I am able to do more because of work.  I can get up alittle earlier and run in the mornings, and because I'm so bored at work I love to workout in the evenings after work.  Just my opinion, but for me working keeps me regimented.  Oh, but i still manage to get hammered on Friday and Saturdays. ;)

rapunzel

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2005, 04:56:59 PM »
Law school is very intense, and one of the hardest things to do is exercise and stay physically and mentally fit.  However, it would be pretty easy to keep drinking and gaining weight.

If I were you (I'm assuming you are male, not because women can't do physical laobor jobs, but because it's harder to get hired), I would go get a job as a landscaper or some other physically active labor job.  In 2 months you will have shed some serious weight and you will be too tired every day to go out drinking.  You will be ready for a change from physical labor to law school.  It will be a good change from your current bad routine, plus there is something so satisfying, to me anyway, about straightforward labor.  You can actually see something getting accomplished.  If I could go back I would have bailed on my dead-end job and gotten in shape.  You don't need a vacation, you need to do something useful.  And you need to loose that weight.  Because you are likely to gain more in law school.

Sounds like you've had oppurtunity to build some savings.  Now get your body in shape and out of this slump.

NoelleMyBelle

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2005, 08:59:34 PM »
I agree.  It sounds to me like you aren't healthy emotionally or physically with the lifestyle you are currently living.  Both are really important for law school--it's hard, not just academically! 

I'd do something else that makes you feel better.

Melinda

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2005, 10:08:38 PM »
I say quit!  I worked this year as a paralegal making decent money, but was totally miserable.  I was working my butt off putting in 50+ hour weeks with a 1 hour commute each way, and I teach LSAT on the side.  I was gaining weight, stressed, and had no time to spend with friends.  I had actually just got a big promotion and raise 3 weeks before I quit. 

A family friend offered me a awesome (unpaid) internship, in an area of law I actually intend to practice.  My position has never been given to someone not in law school before.  Although it is hard financially, in the long run this is better for me. I am working normal hours and getting in a lot of networking in an office of 120 attorneys. They have even offered me a secure job after I graduate.  I also take Fridays off to spend at the beach.  Enjoy all the remaining free time you have!

dft

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2005, 10:42:55 PM »
I wouldn't recommend physical labor as a way of getting in shape.

First of all, it sucks - I've done it nearly every summer for the past 7 years.  Second of all, working physical labor definitely won't guarantee that you lose weight.  My weight has fluctuated every summer, and little of it had to do with working physical labor.  Working out (in particular running, but also weight lifting) has a much more significant (positive) impact on one's health in my opinion/from my experience.

Law school is very intense, and one of the hardest things to do is exercise and stay physically and mentally fit.  However, it would be pretty easy to keep drinking and gaining weight.

If I were you (I'm assuming you are male, not because women can't do physical laobor jobs, but because it's harder to get hired), I would go get a job as a landscaper or some other physically active labor job.  In 2 months you will have shed some serious weight and you will be too tired every day to go out drinking.  You will be ready for a change from physical labor to law school.  It will be a good change from your current bad routine, plus there is something so satisfying, to me anyway, about straightforward labor.  You can actually see something getting accomplished.  If I could go back I would have bailed on my dead-end job and gotten in shape.  You don't need a vacation, you need to do something useful.  And you need to loose that weight.  Because you are likely to gain more in law school.

Sounds like you've had oppurtunity to build some savings.  Now get your body in shape and out of this slump.

danlauer

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2005, 04:33:40 AM »
It's obvious you're nervous about the law school stuff! The only advice I can give you is try not to begin drugs! Many people begin crystal meth or cocaine, for instance, to lose weight!
To what extent can truth endure incorporation? That is the question; that is the experiment.

maney

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Re: Summer before 1L: Stay at Dead-End Job or Take Job outside?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2005, 09:46:23 PM »
Quote
The only advice I can give you is try not to begin drugs! Many people begin crystal meth or cocaine, for instance, to lose weight!

Good advice, danlauer!  ::)