For first year full-time, first year part-time, and second year part-time students:
We encourage students to spend the beginning of their first semester focusing on their classes. After November 1st, first year students may contact the Career Services Office and begin planning for a summer position.
For second year full-time and third year part-time students:
Depending on the area of law, some second year full-time and third year part-time students may need to start looking for summer employment as early July prior to start of fall semester. Students should stay informed by reading the Fall Recruitment Packet which is emailed to all students over the summer.
For third year full-time and fourth year part-time students:
Students are encouraged to meet with a career counselor in the spring prior to start of their final year or during the fall of their final year to discuss their particular career options and job search timeline.
Yes. The GSU College of Law is developing a national reputation, and assists students and graduates in securing job opportunities across the nation. GSU law graduates can be found in many states.
The CSO helps students looking to begin their careers in other cities and states by networking with alumni in those locations to identify potential summer clerkships and post-graduation opportunities. We also participate in several national job fairs. We are continuously marketing the quality of our student body to employers across the country.
Our students generally spend their summers working in a law-related area; recruiting organizations include law firms, public interest employers, the judiciary, the government, and large corporations.
More than 50 employers participate in our Fall Early and Traditional On-Campus Interviewing program for second and third year students, and many other employers participate in our Spring On-Campus Interviewing program and Job Fairs for first, second and third year students, which can lead to summer employment.
Acquiring legal experience during law school provides students with a competitive edge when they begin their job search in earnest. If your prior legal experience is specifically related to the types of jobs you seek after graduation, you should experience an even better response from potential employers.
Some graduates pursue careers outside the traditional practice of law. Students and alumni interested in alternative careers are strongly encouraged to work with a career counselor to identify potential career paths that match their interests and skills.
Recent graduates working outside of traditional law firms have found jobs in consulting, real estate, publishing, entertainment, insurance and banking industries.
It would be easier to say where they aren't working! GSU law graduates can be found in almost every walk of life. They are not only prominent attorneys, but lobbyists, managers, bankers, consultants, journalists, policy analysts, educators and legislators.
Legal directories are often available online, and the CSO staff can generate lists for you as well. Consider these resources:
State Bar of Georgia Membership Directory
Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
Students and recent graduates pursue clerkships for a variety of reasons. Clerkships, especially those with well-regarded judges or courts, are a prestigious credential valued by many legal employers.
For students who are interested in the courts, clerkships give the opportunity to watch trials and appellate actions from the judge's side of the bench and to become familiar with a variety of practice areas. This vantage point is otherwise uncommon for legal counsel, unless they are fortunate enough to become elected or appointed to the bench.
Even those students or recent graduates who do not intend to pursue litigation as a career path find the experience valuable because it provides the opportunity to do intensive research and writing under the supervision of an experienced jurist. The research, writing and critical thinking skills developed during a clerkship are much sought after by employers.
This depends on your objectives.
If you have a clear goal (e.g., to work at a legal policy think tank or to teach law and finance), and that goal will be substantially furthered by obtaining a joint degree, then it should be considered. Joint degrees may also be beneficial if you have a strong, sustainable intellectual interest in two disciplines.
Be certain however, that you can readily afford the cost of a dual degree in terms of time and money; a joint degree does not always translate into improved marketability, nor will it necessarily help you command a higher salary at graduation.
Perhaps the least effective reason to pursue a joint degree is to "keep my options open." We encourage students to do the hard work of career exploration and self-assessment early, before spending an additional year and thousands of dollars to defer an inevitable decision.
More than half of GSU graduates typically obtain post-graduate employment prior to graduation. The remainder of the class tends to delay further job search until after the summer Bar exam.
For the seven months after the Bar exam (August through February), the CSO director and assistant director work exclusively and intensively with those members of the most recent graduating class who are still seeking employment.
By the end of that seven-month period, the great majority of these job seekers have also found employment.
Employers largely report that they are favorably impressed with the maturity, credentials and experience of evening students. In fact, many employers specifically seek students who have more extensive, varied experience.
Although getting legal experience during law school can be difficult, it is not impossible. Evening students simply need to be organized and creative when seeking legal positions.
Some evening students have saved up vacation time for short internships, taken special leave from their employers, or simply found internship positions with scheduling flexibility. For example, many legal research jobs do not require students to work on-site every day.
We highly encourage evening students who work full time to schedule an in-person or phone counseling appointment with the Career Services office. We are open until 6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the fall and spring semesters.
In some cases, evening students may be earning more in their present positions than they would as entry-level attorneys. However, their long-term earnings potential as attorneys may offset the initial opportunity cost of starting over as a lawyer.
Some evening students explore possible opportunities for legal work or other advancement with their current employers; others choose non-traditional careers that will combine the use of the J.D. with some pre-existing expertise. Keep in mind that the largest salaries for entry level associates are paid by large law firms which prefer to hire out of their summer programs.
Age is an issue that cannot be legally considered in the hiring process. Nevertheless, it may enter into the subjective decisions which employers make about candidates, even if subconsciously.
Career Services can assist by talking with students about how to handle the issue of age in an interview or other situation, and by educating employers about the value that older students bring to the workplace.