Let’s start off with one thing. Law School is Expensive! Although you may be working hard to get a partial/full scholarship it is still going to cost a full six figures for most students. If you choose to take summer classes (including unpaid internships) you can expect to add more costs to your tuition.
Many students will want to work during law school in some form or another, but choosing whether you have enough time to devote to a job, and where to work are two very important considerations.
Working in Law School Can Be Done
Working while in law school can be done. It can be a great way to get extra money for fun. The American Bar Association (ABA) previously limited students to maximum of 20 hours per week of working while in law school, but it looks like that limit was dropped a few years ago.
If you are thinking of working while in law school, consider the following::
- Can you be extremely disciplined and manage your time for both areas?
- Will your job allow you to step away if you need to devote more time to studying?
- How much income will you have as a result of this job?
- Will the additional income outweigh the loss of time devoted to studying?
- Will this job help you towards your ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer?
This last question is important. You may be someone who has worked at a local coffee shop, you have the skillset and can get the job done, and make some easy money, but will it help you develop the skills necessary to be an attorney? If not, it may be worth considering other jobs to help you towards your ultimate goal.
When Should You Start Working in Law School?
If you are considering working (and are a full time student) start thinking about your job prospects after the first semester has been completed. Most students start thinking about Summer Internships, or Clerking positions after they receive their first semester grades (it is also a great way for prospective employers to gauge your experience.
Is Working in Law School Worth It?
Working in law school can be a very rewarding experience. However, it is a very personal question as to whether working while in law school is truly worth it. It requires however that you maintain a good work life balance and consider how working will move forward your career.
If you are in a job with low pay, and not offering a great experience that will help you develop the skills necessary to practice law, then consider speaking with your school’s career counselor (after all, they are supposed to help you prepare your resume, and come up with a game plan on how to launch into a successful law career).