Questions and Thoughts of a Rising 3L

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about life after law school. Specifically, what do I want to do after I take the bar next summer? Now, for some rising 3Ls this may be an exciting time, especially if that 3L has a job lined up already. However, this is very stressful for me because the job application process starts NOW!

I have yet to fully narrow down exactly what I would like to do after graduation, which makes the application process a bit difficult because I should start applying now. I know that that I am interested in criminal law and human rights, and in addition, I know that I would like to do some kind of judicial clerkship. But then again, I wouldn’t mind working at a DA’s office; or small/medium size firm; or attaining a fellowship for a year; or working for a non-profit; this list goes on.

I cannot help but wonder whether other rising 3Ls are going through the same dilemma of what to do after graduation. Where to move? What to practice? When to apply? How to apply? Now, I must admit that I am not completely lost in my application process because NUSL has an amazing career services department. I am grateful for the NUSL career services office because they have been extremely helpful as I tackle the journey of applying for jobs. It is great to know that they are just a phone call away.

So, now for the question you may have been thinking: “Asia, what HAVE YOU decided about life after law school? Have you decided anything?” Well, the good news is that I have decided to focus my job applications in Georgia (which is where I am originally from)!!! That’s exciting! Right? I have my region narrowed down. 🙂 However, I definitely am not stuck on moving to Georgia. For example, if there is an opportunity elsewhere, then I am willing and able to take it.

Which brings me to my next point (thought): in order to practice law, one must take the bar. That is clear. But, what happens if say, I take the Georgia bar, then find out I have an opportunity to work in California. What happens then? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. I am definitely taking the Georgia bar, but does that mean I should only apply to jobs in Georgia? Or, should I also expand my horizons elsewhere?

My life right now is full of questions. I know what I have to do: research and apply for jobs. However, finding the right job for me is a bit of a struggle. I’ve been speaking with the attorneys at my office (as a reminder I am currently doing an internship with the US Attorney’s Office in Nashville), and they’ve told me that my first job out of law school will not be my last. That’s reassuring because as of now, I do not know what I would like to do with the rest of my life. Obviously I want to practice law, however, the specific sector and job are both still up in the air. I have my preferences, but then again I also have an open mind.

So another thought of mine is potentially going back to school to attain an LLM or masters. Since I would consider myself a “life-long learner,” maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go back to school and attain another degree. Hmmm, maybe I should go back to school after I graduate law school? Actually, scratch that. I am going to focus on applying for jobs. 🙂

I will definitely keep you posted on my further thoughts regarding my job search. Wish me luck!

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