Can you work while in law school?
This week’s podcast discusses working while in law school. On the program we have Hulett H. “Bucky” Askew, Consultant on Legal Education to the American Bar Association; Brad Kaufman, attorney and shareholder at Greenburg Traurig LLP, a law firm in Miami, Florida; and Susanne Aronowitz, Associate Dean for Law Career Services and Alumni Relations at Golden Gate University School of Law.
The American Bar Association has set rules for full-time law school students and their ability to hold full-time or part-time jobs. According to the ABA, “a student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled in more than twelve class hours.” A student who needs or wishes to work more than the ABA’s allotted twenty hours may need to reconsider their options before attending law school on a full-time basis. Today’s guests offer advice and suggestions on how to earn some extra money and experience while still being a law school student.
Our first guest, Bucky Askew, Consultant on Legal Education to the American Bar Association, discusses the ABA rule on working no more than 20 hours per week and talks about why the policy was instituted. He says that the rule is enforced so students are able to spend the majority of their time on being a law school student, and working on the start of their legal career.
Susanne Aronowitz, Associate Dean for Law Career Services and Alumni Relations at Golden Gate University School of Law, believes that the ABA employment rule is in place so students don’t develop too many distractions outside of class and school, and can focus more effectively on succeeding in law school. However, she suggests that students get involved with “employment-like” activities within school, such as clinics or pro bono work. This will help them build their résumé and receive legal experience. She also adds that if a student needs a job to help pay bills or stay financially stable, they should work with their school’s Career Services Office for advice and guidance.
Our final guest, Brad Kaufman, attorney and shareholder at Greenburg Traurig LLP in Miami (FL), is also responsible for the professional development of associates at his firm. He believes that not taking full-time employment while in law school is a common sense decision. Because law school isn’t an easy academic program, students need all their time and focus to succeed. He also explains that getting experience in law school is important and building a balance of work and school is critical, however, and stresses the importance of finding venues in which to obtain legal and client experience while in law school.
Hulett H. “Bucky” Askew – Consultant on Legal Education to the American Bar Association
Brad Kaufman – Attorney and Shareholder at Greenburg Traurig, LLP
Susanne Aronowitz – Associate Dean for Law Career Services and Alumni Relations at Golden Gate University School of Law