Saturday, December 2, 2017

Should Students Take Time Off Before Going to Law School?

For me, the answer was yes. I worked in a church-related volunteer program for two years. The experience increased my doubts about going to law school; however, I did go, though I can’t clearly articulate why I made the decision. In any case, those two years gave me a break from academia and much greater insight into the nature of the “real world.” Plus, the experience turned out to be a turning point in my personal life.

At the preLaw Insider, Hilary Mantis considers the question. Though she correctly states that the answer is different for each individual, she offers reasons for taking time off. Here are some excerpts from her article.

“Law schools are okay with your taking time off,” I continued. “In fact it can sometimes help make your applications stronger.”

For example, if your grades are not where you would like them to be, you can use the end of your senior year to bring up your GPA. Same thing with your LSAT score — retake it at the end of your senior year, or even the fall of the following year and try to increase your score.

Work experience can similarly make your application stronger.

You don’t have to work in a legal setting, but if you do, it will give you much greater insight into the legal profession before you start law school, and show you what lawyers really do on a day to day basis. Plus, it gives you a chance to have a study break between college and law school.

Anecdotally speaking, with the law school students I have worked with, those who worked for a year or two in between college and law school were sometimes more ready for the work that law school entails, and also more certain of their decision to go to law school.

 Working between college and law school may also give you a chance to save up some money before you become a full-time student again.

You can read the full article here.


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