Should You Take a Gap Year?

As I have mentioned before, I took a year off in between undergrad and law school. I've always had the idea in my mind that most people go straight into law school after they graduate from college, but I've learned that's not the majority. At least in my class, there seems to be a relatively even split between the K-JDs and those who took time off from school before heading back.

I don't regret that I took a year off in before starting law school. Of course, not everything was always peachy, but I think it was best for me.

Pros of Taking a Gap Year

When I was in undergrad, I was involved in a TON. There were leadership positions up the wazoo and normal member duties for my student organizations. Don't get me wrong, memories from those student orgs are some of my favorites from college, but they did take up a lot of my time.

Looking back at all my commitments, I never would have had any extra time to devote to studying for the LSAT and working on my law school applications. It was nice to have plenty of time where my biggest commitment was working on my LSAT score and perfecting every little detail in my personal statement.

In addition to studying my booty off, I worked during my gap year. I made a small dent in my undergraduate loans and saved up cash to take with me once I moved for law school.

I think it was also nice to focus on myself for a year. I had devoted so much of my energy and time to my grades, student orgs, and other people for my four years in undergrad that it was nice to put all that effort and attention on myself for a year.

Cons of Taking a Gap Year

Like I mentioned above, I don't regret taking my gap year. However, it was hard to get back into the swing of school after taking a year off. I kind of forgot how to study and keep up with homework once I got back in school.

An issue I've heard from other law students who took time off before heading back to school is that there's the idea that the longer you wait to go back to school, the harder it will be. And, of course, this can be true. Sometimes I'd think about how much work I put into undergrad and would ask myself if I wanted to put in at least three times that much work for law school. But, in the end, I always remembered why I wanted to go to law school and why it was going to be super worth it in the end.

Did you take a gap year before going back to school?




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