Your legal career begins the day you step onto campus, so it’s never too early to begin thinking about where you want to be upon graduation. The Center for Professional Development & Career Strategies is here to assist you as you pursue your dreams and goals. Our dedicated staff can help you develop the skills you need to apply your education and launch a satisfying future career.

Student FAQs

Full-Time Students

For first-year full-time, first-year part-time and second-year part-time students:
Students should spend the beginning of their first semester focusing on their classes. After Nov. 1, first-year students may contact the center to 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 as the July prior to the start of fall semester. Students should stay informed by reading the fall recruitment packet, emailed to students each summer.

For third-year full-time and fourth-year part-time students:
Students are encouraged to meet with a career advisor in the spring prior to the start of their final year or during the fall of their final year to discuss their particular career options and job search timeline.

Yes. Georgia State Law has a national reputation and assists students and graduates in securing job opportunities across the nation. Georgia State Law alumni work in many states.

The center 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. In addition, we continuously market the quality of our student body to employers throughout 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. 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. For example, some recent graduates working outside of law firms have found jobs in the consulting, real estate, publishing, entertainment, insurance and banking industries.

We strongly encourage students and alumni who are interested in alternative careers to work with one of our career advisors. Doing so will help you identify potential career paths that match your interests and skills.

It would be easier to say where they aren't working. Georgia State 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. The Center for Professional Development & Career Strategies' staff can generate lists for you as well. Consider these resources:

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 students or recent graduates who don’t 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 all types of 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 dual degree, then you should consider it. Dual 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 dual degree doesn’t 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 dual degree is to "keep my options open." Students should 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 Georgia State Law 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 eight months after the bar exam (August through March), Center for Professional Development & Career Strategies professionals are available to work intensively with those members of the most recent graduating class still seeking employment. By the end of that seven-month period, the great majority of these job seekers also find employment.

Part-Time and Evening Students

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’s not impossible. Evening students 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 found internship positions with scheduling flexibility. For example, many legal research jobs don’t require students to work on site every day.

We encourage evening students who work full time to schedule an in-person or phone counseling appointment with one of our career advisors or full-time professionals. Our office is open until 6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters for evening students.

In some cases, evening students may earn 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 nontraditional careers that 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 employers make about candidates, even if subconsciously.

The center can assist by talking with students about how to handle the issue of age in an interview or other situations and by educating employers about the value that older students bring to the workplace.