• A Hartwick student using a microscope for research.
  • Hartwick students giving a presentation in front of the class.
  • A Hartwick professor helping a student during class.
  • A Hartwick professor discussing Botany with a student.

Working Before Deciding

Seniors considering the option of working before applying to law school often worry that they may lack the motivation to return to school, but most graduates who follow this path do, in fact, return. Moreover, alumni/ae currently enrolled in law school advise others to experience the working world first. Law school admissions officers themselves encourage work experience.

Seniors who decide to work before applying to law school wonder what kinds of employment will enhance their chances of admission in the future. Hartwick graduates have worked in a number of fields before being admitted, ranging from business and education to the media and social services. For example, as many teachers as paralegals apply to law school. Paralegal experience can give an undecided senior some experience in the field and help reinforce a career decision, but such work is far from being an automatic, or even a desirable, route to admission. From the admissions officers' perspective, the field of your work experience is less important than your willingness to perform challenging assignments with discipline and intelligence.

In general, unless you are very certain about a career in law and have a strong record going into senior year, our advice is to wait. Don't rush. Work experience can help you clarify your interests, your abilities, your preferred lifestyle, and your goals.