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Author Topic: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience  (Read 2111 times)

devilishlyblue

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2008, 11:56:13 AM »
How do they measure it now?  just take the current evaluation of work experience and expand it to 33%.
  They don't do it quantitatively.  They don't assign weights to GPAs or LSATs; they just look at them.  They want high numbers, and -- yes, they value work experience.  There's no formula for this.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2008, 12:03:09 PM »
How do they measure it now?  just take the current evaluation of work experience and expand it to 33%.
  They don't do it quantitatively.  They don't assign weights to GPAs or LSATs; they just look at them.  They want high numbers, and -- yes, they value work experience.  There's no formula for this.

Well then there should be.  Once again, I'm not necessarily talking about the top 20 schools, maybe even the top 50.  
A school ranked just outside the top 50 should not be so obsessed with improving their ranking that they don't consider an amazing resume just because the GPA is low.  An incredible performance as a professional should count for as much as a great performance in school for most schools outside the top 50

Duke is probably a good enough school that they really don't have much of a problem.  They will have enough amazing soft factors to go around.  

devilishlyblue

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2008, 12:05:21 PM »
Well, but then you get back to the basic problem: how exactly do you measure soft factors?  Do you just score them 1-10?  Do you have the same evaluator do every single applicant, just so that there's no arbitrary differences?

PS: Duke pride comes from undergrad days.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2008, 12:16:41 PM »
Well, but then you get back to the basic problem: how exactly do you measure soft factors?  Do you just score them 1-10?  Do you have the same evaluator do every single applicant, just so that there's no arbitrary differences?

PS: Duke pride comes from undergrad days.

I figured that after I clicked on your LSN link.  All of the schools you've been accepted to probably have enough amazing applicants.

It wouldn't take that much time for a few smart people to come up with an evaluation system.  I'm sure it would have to be unique for each school.

I would probably evaluate their work experience based on a few factors:

Length of time:  This shows loyalty and trend.  This could be evaluated easily.

Promotions: This shows that they impressed their employers.  Easy to evaluate.

Mental Difficulty of position. This would be hard to evaluate, but no harder then evaluating the strength of an undergraduate institution.

Performance:  I would ask on my application for resumes to focus in their success in relation to the rest of their company. If I could verify that they were the best salesperson in a company with 300 employees then I would give that high marks.


Some schools have taken my 60 bucks and 4 months of my life to make a decision. They could make a couple phone calls.




jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2008, 12:18:33 PM »
After you evaluate work experience and assign points, you add those points onto the GPA.


So if you had a 3.0 GPA applicant with an AMAZING resume you could ad .4 onto their GPA and evaluate them against the other 3.4 candidates based on their LORs and personal statement.

devilishlyblue

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2008, 12:37:07 PM »
It wouldn't take that much time for a few smart people to come up with an evaluation system.  I'm sure it would have to be unique for each school.

I would probably evaluate their work experience based on a few factors:

Length of time:  This shows loyalty and trend.  This could be evaluated easily.

Promotions: This shows that they impressed their employers.  Easy to evaluate.

Mental Difficulty of position. This would be hard to evaluate, but no harder then evaluating the strength of an undergraduate institution.

Performance:  I would ask on my application for resumes to focus in their success in relation to the rest of their company. If I could verify that they were the best salesperson in a company with 300 employees then I would give that high marks.

Some schools have taken my 60 bucks and 4 months of my life to make a decision. They could make a couple phone calls.

Even if these are easy to evaluate, they're very hard to weight fairly.  For example, a low-level salesperson who rises up in a big corporation (say, Best Buy) three or four rungs gets weight over an entrepreneur who founds his own company   and can therefore never be promoted.  And if you reward loyalty, how do you consider upward transitions?  (i.e. a cashier at McDonald's who becomes a manager at Burger King now gets punished for leaving AND not getting promoted.)  And mental difficulty is extremely hard to evaluate and MUCH harder than evaluating the strength of an undergrad -- not least because undergrads have objective measures to them (Avg. LSAT/GPA).  What's harder, a waiter who has to deal with difficult customers, or a computer scientist who can just deal with programming all day?  An architect/engineer, or a flight stewardess?  Even if we grant that it's as hard as evaluating undergrad, that's just an argument against considering undergrad.  (Which is probably why it's not very important.)  Performance relative to company is another problematic one.  Being the best grocery bagger in 500+ Safeway stores is probably less impressive than being the median mathematician at Google.

mbw

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2008, 12:53:15 PM »
After you evaluate work experience and assign points, you add those points onto the GPA.


So if you had a 3.0 GPA applicant with an AMAZING resume you could ad .4 onto their GPA and evaluate them against the other 3.4 candidates based on their LORs and personal statement.

The problem with using a resume is that it's way too subjective, as well as easily fluffed and padded.  It's a marketing tool, and would take law schools eons to work through each and every one to the extent that perhaps some candidates deserve. 

Much the same can be said for GPAs, to be honest.  That most law schools don't much differentiate between a 3.7 from a communications major at CalState-Chico (no offense to alums) and the same from an ME from MIT is pretty tough to swallow, but aside from ad comms sitting in on each and every class, how do they really know how difficult any given class might have been?  Probably why LSATs are so heavily valued.

However, no one is guaranteed entrance into law school, and as long as there are more applicants than spaces, law schools get to decide who fills their seats.  If the current economic situation worsens and private funding sources continue to dry up, some law schools might give more weight to work experience, particularly if it means you have a tuition nest-egg stored away and won't be so dependent upon loans and grants.  Law schools are still businesses and expected to remain solvent.

(Note:  I'm the queen of soft factors, 2-page resume included; however, I've just come to recognize over time that won't necessarily translate into being a great law student.  I hope it does, but that hope and $3 buys me a latte at SBs.)
I'm in a lynch mob?  I had no idea.  This is really worrying; I really don't have time for another extra-curricular activity.

space for rent.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2008, 01:03:27 PM »
I think it would be difficult, but devilishly blue, you and a couple other smart people could bang this out in a few weeks.  

What makes a good lawyer?  Would that google engineer develop the skills he needs?
Would a bagger develop communication and critical thinking skills?
Would you have to learn important skills in order to be an inredible waitress?

I've read books on management that break careers down by the attributes that are needed to succeed, and I don't think it would be impossible to do that for the legal field.

I'm sure you could identify a few attributes that would be beneficial off the top of your head.  
Organization, networking ability, sales skills, communication skills etc.

GPA and LSAT don't necessarily reflect your abilities in those areas.

devilishlyblue

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2008, 01:21:06 PM »
I think it would be difficult, but devilishly blue, you and a couple other smart people could bang this out in a few weeks.

I appreciate the show of confidence, but I'm actually not so sure.  Models for predicting success in professional sports are still pretty limited, and they're going to be much more powerful by necessity, since you have a relatively limited pool of data to draw from.  Success in the majors can be measured by college OBP, strikeouts, HR's, etc.  Law school applicants bring a whole lot of other skills to the table from a whole lot more backgrounds.  Every prospective major leaguer -- every single last one of them -- has played baseball before.  A lot.  No law student has ever been a law student before.  Asking to assess them, either by UGPA or by work experience, is like asking the Yankees to consider football skills.  Sure, they tell you something, but not nearly what you'd want.  (The LSAT, in this analogy, is a scouting combine.)

If I really wanted to design an optimal system, I'd have some kind of "minor league" equivalent.  Medical schools accomplish this by imposing a standardized curriculum on premeds, but even then there's weakness because of school-to-school variation.  At least, however, the comparison is better because everybody's taken organic chemistry.  Law school would probably need to mandate a handful of classes.  As with medical school, those students who feel that their UGPA doesn't represent them accurate can always go back and take that set again through some kind of a post-baccalaureate program.  A couple basic, writing-intensive polisci courses or something.  (This would also have the advantage of obviating a couple 1L courses, just as medical students don't have to retake organic chemistry.)

Would the improvement be worth the burden that this imposes?  I'm not 100% sold, to be honest.  The lives of minor leaguers are pretty destitute for pretty bad odds at a major-league stint, much less success.  It would be a lot more merciful if baseball actually had a good way of screening the unpromising players out earlier, without forcing them to go through all that time and hassle.  (Organic chemistry, like the minor leagues, sucks.)  It depends on how good of a process you currently think we have.

jack24

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Re: Academic Excellence VS. Work Experience
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2008, 02:07:14 PM »
I understand the difficulties and I feel like the sports analogy is a very good one.

The process would end up being subjective, but it would still make a difference.
Currently the ranking system is partially based on the LSAT/GPA of admitted students.  There is no way that a school can raise their rank by admitting a bunch of amazing sales people with low GPAs. 

My key frustration with the process isn't necessarily that I can't go to the law school I want to go to.  If I knew I was going to law school sooner, I would have had to put more attention into getting As.  I'm going to a great school.
The major frustration I find is that nobody can tell me what makes a good lawyer. 
Law schools mainly look at LSAT and GPA, which don't really give a good indication of your future sucess in the legal field.
Law schools will accept an applicant based on whether or not they fit in a particular box.
It would be nice if a highly ranked school just threw out all the old logic and started drafting different kinds of players.  (I still wouldn't get in, but it would be interesting to see the results 10 years later)