In our last post, we outlined some of the pros of going to law school directly from college. But there are strong reasons for delaying law school for one, two, three, or even more years. Everyone’s situation is different, and it’s important that you assess carefully which option will put you in the best position to be successful for both your legal education and career. What are some of the advantages of putting time between college and law school?
1. Gain real-world experience
The real world is, of course, very different from the “college bubble” that so many undergraduates live in for four years. The college bubble – one that’s filled with dorm life, parties, spring break getaways, and often parental assistance – does not sufficiently prepare you for the challenges that come with adulthood. By taking time off after college, you’ll be able to see what it’s like to live on your own.
2. Save up
We all know that law school tuition is expensive. By working after college, you can start saving up for law school tuition to mitigate some of the financial burden of financing a JD.
3. Clarify your interest in law
Some of you out there aren’t really certain yet that law school is the right path for you. In that case, getting some work experience in law or other related fields can help clarify why a law degree is the right next step.
4. Distance yourself from your GPA
Perhaps you remember college more for the parties than for the classes. If you have a less-than-stellar academic record from your undergraduate days, you may want to consider taking time off to distance yourself from that GPA. Admissions officers will factor in your GPA all the same, but you can present yourself in a better light if you have outstanding achievements at work to balance out your undergraduate record.
5. Build your resume
Taking time off to work is a great way to build a strong professional track record for yourself. It isn’t easy finding a job in law these days, and a strong work resume is a great advantage to have during interview season.
6. Hone your time management skills
People with work experience are often better able to manage their time in law school. Law school is like a full-time job, and it can be challenging for most students coming directly from college to balance the demands of law school work with their personal lives. By delaying law school in favor of work experience, you’ll be more prepared for the time commitment you’ll need to make to your studies.