Can I Work During Law School?
For many full-time law students, having a job throughout law school is a great way to supplement income. Student loans and scholarships can sometimes only take you so far. Let’s face it, most law students aren’t swimming in pools of financial freedom! For many, going to law school is a career choice rooted in the ability to make a healthy income. But can you work during law school? Read further to see our thoughts.
Can I Work During Law School?
Where Are Students Finding Work?
Working throughout law school is a great way to not only supplement income but also gain legal experience. For many law students working during law school, the position they maintain is typically a law clerk position that stems from a summer legal opportunity. Students working during their 2L or 3L years of law school typically take on legal-related positions.
For example, imagine you secured a 1L summer position that was paid, and the employer was happy with your performance. While you likely worked full-time over the summer, the employer may offer you part-time status during the academic year. This way, the employer can still develop your legal skills in advance of the upcoming 2L summer.
Once 2L summer rolls around, the employer will likely offer you full-time work again. As a law student, this is a stellar way to build a relationship with an employer. Many times, assuming the law student performs well, the employer could potentially offer an associate position upon graduation. The example also applies to 3Ls working part-time during the academic year. The employer they worked for during their 2L summer likely offered them part-time work for the academic year.
Of course, if you want to explore other areas of the law, you can always for another position during your 2L summer. Some students approach their 1L summer position as only temporary, knowing that they will want to move on and try something new during their 2L year!
It’s Go Go Go
Working throughout law school means that you won’t have as much free time. Time spent hanging out in between classes or catching up on reading is likely to be noticeably cut down. Time traditionally spent during the week at the library may be spent at work instead. You’re bound to have days when you get home from work and have to be in class shortly thereafter. That means coming home, changing, eating a quick snack, and heading to class. You’ll have less time to complete reading assignments prior to class and you’ll likely experience more fatigue. Handling both work and school can be tiring! Waking up for work, going back to class, going home to do reading assignments, it’s all go go go!
Make Sure Your Employer Is Flexible
Law students working throughout law school usually hold a position in a law firm or with some legal-related employer. This means that most employers familiar with managing law student employees are accustomed to student schedules and requirements. Make sure that your employer understands that you’re likely going to need time off to study for final exams and participate in extracurriculars. In addition, you’ll also need time off to study for the bar exam after graduation. Unlike final exams, that’s at least two months! The ability to maintain flexibility over your schedule is essential and can allow you to dedicate appropriate time to academics.
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