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Author Topic: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience  (Read 2067 times)

jack24

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Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« on: March 24, 2008, 10:58:05 AM »
Last time I asked about this, a bunch of people just told me I was stupid because Ad-coms don't care that much about work experience.
This time, I want to hear your opinions on the value of professional work experience before law school.

Does professional work experience before law school prepare you for a career in law?
Should pre-law students avoid working if it hurts their grades?
Does your sucess in undergrad really have much to do with your success in law school?
Would most undergrads get the same grades whether they work or not?

Discuss.. Call me an idiot.. business as usual.   :)

Trivium

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 11:03:38 AM »
I don't think anyone was saying you were stupid, I think they just disagreed with you. Anyway,

1) Possibly
2) Absolutely
3) Somewhat --> Depends on your major
4) No

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 11:12:15 AM »
I don't think anyone was saying you were stupid, I think they just disagreed with you. Anyway,

1) Possibly
2) Absolutely
3) Somewhat --> Depends on your major
4) No

I think ad-coms should use soft factors as 1/3 of their decision.  Some people do indeed think that idea is stupid, but maybe they don't think I'm stupid.

Thanks for your answers.

Trivium

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 11:16:48 AM »
What kind of soft factors are you referring to? I disagree for the most part regardless, the only ones being softs that not just anyone can do.

devilishlyblue

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 11:17:57 AM »
I don't think anyone was saying you were stupid, I think they just disagreed with you. Anyway,

1) Possibly
2) Absolutely
3) Somewhat --> Depends on your major
4) No

I think ad-coms should use soft factors as 1/3 of their decision.  Some people do indeed think that idea is stupid, but maybe they don't think I'm stupid.

Thanks for your answers.


1/3rd?  How are you going to measure this?  Just grade them all 1-10?  By some standards, you could already argue that most law schools use soft factors as perhaps 20% of their decision, in that a pure numbers process would probably change their student body by at least 20%.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 11:29:22 AM »
I don't really know what the official definition of "soft factors" is, but I think your resume, extracurricular success (not just involvement) and your special factors (Foreign language, foreign experience, volunteer work etc)  Should account for a lot.  Personal statements and LORs should probably be tie-breakers.


jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 11:32:43 AM »
1/3rd?  How are you going to measure this?  Just grade them all 1-10?  By some standards, you could already argue that most law schools use soft factors as perhaps 20% of their decision, in that a pure numbers process would probably change their student body by at least 20%.

How do they measure it now?  just take the current evaluation of work experience and expand it to 33%.
People on ad-coms should be smart enough to tell the difference between meaningful work experience and wasted work experience.  If my resume is great, then that should go a long way. 

The important question is whether or not you think that good work experience will prepare you for a career in law.  If you don't, then it shouldn't be worth anything.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 11:40:19 AM »
I just want to say that I'm not trying to intrude on your top 20 schools.  The elite law schools probably have an entirely different outlook on work experience.  Harvard has a huge selection of high gpas and high LSATs to choose from.  

I'm mostly concerned about T2 schools.  Going to a school ranked 65th isn't going to automatically get you a good job, so I think work experience is even more valuable.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 11:46:24 AM »
I think that should change.  I think it sucks that you have to go to a T3 or T4 school if you want them to emphasize in real world preparation.  I'm going to law school to improve my career. 

And there is a major difference between a resume that says "Worked as a bank teller" and a resume that says, "Closed 7 million in acquistion and development loans last year and another 3.5 million in the first quarter of this year"

Majmun

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008, 11:49:50 AM »

This is making the assumption that law school is meant to prepare you for a career in law, which many observers have argued is not the case.  Law school teaches you "to think like a lawyer" -- your bar prep and your employers teach you to be a real lawyer by giving you most of your real-world lawyering skills (outside whatever experience you obtain via pro-bono work, clinics, and summer jobs).  
.

I don't think this is the case.  It seems to me that most contend that law school doesn't teach you "lawyering" not that it doesn't intend to prepare you for a career in law.  FWIW..I imagine thinking like a lawyer is fairly important to having a career in law.