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Author Topic: Which job would be better?  (Read 1558 times)

dailoshane

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Which job would be better?
« on: February 02, 2004, 06:03:06 PM »
I'm expecting to graduate this fall with a 3.0 GPA and I got a 166 on my LSAT. Anyway, the reason why my GPA is that low is because I work a 40 hour week while still taking a full-time courseload (12-15 hours per semester). Now I've been offered a management position at the restaurant where I work, and have been wondering whether this would be better than any entry level desk job at a law office in terms of looking good when I apply to law school. Which looks better and why? I don't really have time for student organizations or other extra-curricular activities since my life is all school and work, so I need for my job to make up for the GPA. Thanks for your opinion.

Shane

kattiewitch

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2004, 06:45:03 PM »
My opinion would be go to the law office if you want to go to law school eventually.  I have a masters degree, but law schools are more impressed by my legal internship than my degree or my current job.

jbshane

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2004, 09:02:38 AM »
I have been working as a paralegal for just about 2.5 years (since undergrad).  At an interview at Northwestern in December, I was told that the School of Law oftentimes looks for experience in other fields, so that their students can bring an outside business perspective to the classroom.  Given, this is Northwestern, whose grads go to work at law firms nearly 85% of the time right out of law school (compared to other schools to which I am applying, this number is very large).

Take it as you may, but I just received my 5th and 6th rejection letters last night, although I'm still waiting to hear from 6 more and was waitlisted at another.

apartment

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2004, 12:49:35 PM »
The "best" answer is to take the job you like more, especially if you are still in school and you are going to apply to law school right away.  When you are still a student, schools view your work experience more as an "extracurricular" activity.  So they will not judge you too harshly for not having joined a ton of clubs and taken exotic unpaid internships (like working in senator so and so's office) if you have made serious time commitments to do stuff like supporting yourself.

The only situation where I could see a clear disadvantage to taking the restaurant job (assuming you would prefer the greater responsibility of management) is it you were going to delay applying for say a year.  Then law schools may wonder about your interest in law and you won't have the option about writing about a law-related job.  However, if you can show your interest in other ways, or have a really good personal story to tell in your essay it won't matter much, if at all.  If anything, you'd stand out. It seems that everyone who is in the legal industry and is not yet a lawyer is applying to law school.  I must know 10 people who are working as pseudo-paralegals who are applying, but I have not read one essay that has spun their experience into an interesting story.  They all would have been happier working construction for a while. 

If you plan on working for many years (more than two), then it is much more important to show advancement in your chosen field than it is to have a legal anything on your resume.  Two years as a restaurant manager looks much more impressive and says worlds more about you than two years pushing papers.

For background, I worked for 5 years in a field unrelated to law and I have had many positive responses to my work experience. 

jbshane

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2004, 12:55:10 PM »
I must know 10 people who are working as pseudo-paralegals who are applying, but I have not read one essay that has spun their experience into an interesting story.  They all would have been happier working construction for a while. 

I have never read anything more true about pre-law school employment.  I didn't even mention my current job in my personal statement.  There wasn't much more to say than was already on my resume.

kattiewitch

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2004, 08:07:15 PM »
I agree, if you're still in school, take the fun job.  If it is just for a year off though, I think something law related might look better.  I guess I'd ask too, what is more interesting to you.  I know my legal internship was not management, but it was also very interesting.  Then again . . .so was working as an assistant manager in college.   Do what's right for you.  Good Luck!

dailoshane

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2004, 03:07:35 AM »
Thanks for the advice, guys. I think I'm going to take the management job because I definitely would enjoy working as a leader with about 40 people that I'd be directly responsible for. Also, the pay would be better and I do have serious financial considerations. On top of that, in case I don't get into law school, restaurant management/ownership is where I'd end up pursuing a career.

Also, what are some good ways to demonstrate interest in law besides working in the field? Other than being very vocal amongst my peers about politics, law, and current events, I really don't have anything to show. The interest is definitely there, but I may not have anything that I can put on an application. Thanks again.

prelaw_undergrad

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Re: Which job would be better?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2004, 10:24:41 AM »
I think that was a good decision (taking the management position) because it will show law schools that you have leadership skills. I wouldn't worry about you GPA, since your worked full time and have a pretty good LSAT score.

As far as your need to find "ways to demonstrate interest in law," I wouldn't worry about it.  Almost every 'typical' law school applicant tries to prove that s/he has a profound desire to work in the legal field, even though law school admissions committees prefer to have a diverse student body.  You just need to mention in your essay/personal statement to law schools why you want to attend law school.