All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – proverb
“Live, laugh, law” – said a law student at one point, probably.
On top of study, there always seems to be pressure to find “work experience” while you are at law school. Sometimes it feels like everyone else is working, doing things in the legal industry when you’re not. It’s important to remember that comparing yourself to others will most likely make you feel worse; so, remember that you are also very capable and can do things at your own pace.
If you’re looking for a job in the legal industry, Learn Law Life has searched the Internet and has a dedicated Jobs Board which is updated daily (it’s even colour coded!) to make your life a little easier. Some employers (including the public sector) also list on Student Job Search – though this requires checking the website daily to see if anything comes up.
Preparation – how much can you work?
You need to be realistic about the amount of hours of work that you can do. Ask yourself: How many hours of class do you have a week? How many papers are you studying this semester? How advanced are your papers?
This is important to identify before you even begin your job search – if you have only been at law school for a short amount of time it is recommended that you focus your time on study as much as you can. Only work if you need extra funds to support your study. Burnout is real and if you spend too much time working a job to the point that it affects your ability to study and live your life, it’s time to re-evaluate.
When you’re searching for a job – take note of the amount of hours involved and how much of a commitment it will be. Check if the job allows flexibility and is more student-friendly.
How can I get a job if I’ve never worked before?
If you have never worked before, it’s a mixture of meeting the right people at the right time and your ability to sell your skills – from your time at university, high school, through volunteering. An example of your time management skills could be managing a four-paper workload, attending classes and submitting all of your assignments on time at university. Explain the skills you have developed from your previous experiences!
Along with looking at job boards, talk to your friends, and parents to see if they know anyone who is looking for work. Even having a coffee with a parent’s friend may help open some doors of opportunity.
It might take a few rejections, but something will come up 😊
How do I balance work life and study?
Congratulations! You’ve found a job.
This is another important responsibility that you’re about to take on. If your work has multiple shifts, be organised and let your employer know when you are available. Note down in your calendar when any assignments/exams are due, and let your employer know in advance if you are unable to work at a certain time. Skipping class to work is a bad idea. Make sure you have plenty of time to do other things like socialise with friends or be a potato.
If your grades are becoming affected by work – it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. If you want to finish a law degree, make this a priority and see if you can reduce the amount of hours to focus on study and the rest of your life.
Maybe “balance” is a myth – well sometimes law school makes it feel that way. It’s important to make sure that your mental health and well-being are looked after. At the end of the day, remember, law school is a marathon, not a sprint!