Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

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scifiguy
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Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby scifiguy » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:28 am

So, I've ben reading that Northwestern tends to admit people who are older than the average law student population, but who have work experience.

I've been reading that this might also be one of the reasons they do so well in placement, b/c there are substantially more people who have good work experience that could presumably help law firms and corporations (like added value). ...

So here's a question. If a person attends NU w/o work experience straight out of UG, then would that person have a tougher time competing aganst his or her peers for jobs if they're not top of the class? Let's say this person is around median in the class where their stellar class rank doesn't stand out. Against the rest of NU students, will the lack of WE hurt them come interviewing time?

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suralin
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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby suralin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:52 am

scifiguy wrote:So, I've ben reading that Northwestern tends to admit people who are older than the average law student population, but who have work experience.

I've been reading that this might also be one of the reasons they do so well in placement, b/c there are substantially more people who have good work experience that could presumably help law firms and corporations (like added value). ...

So here's a question. If a person attends NU w/o work experience straight out of UG, then would that person have a tougher time competing aganst his or her peers for jobs if they're not top of the class? Let's say this person is around median in the class where their stellar class rank doesn't stand out. Against the rest of NU students, will the lack of WE hurt them come interviewing time?


I'm curious about this too, although I'm not sure whether there would be anything more than anecdotes on either side.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:17 am

I would go ask in the NU 3Ls taking questions thread, where there are people who've actually seen their own classes go through OCI.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby dsn32 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:33 am

rinkrat19 wrote:I would go ask in the NU 3Ls taking questions thread, where there are people who've actually seen their own classes go through OCI.


Question has been asked, the response said they basically didn't want to venture a guess on such a small sample size. Sort of problematic for us straight from UG admits, since they seem to be admitting more of us to keep their #s up for USNews.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:20 pm

Median at most t14s is already potentially troublesome, I can't imagine it's worse to be median at NU than, say, Duke.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby Icculus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:28 pm

Without venturing an overall guess, I would imagine that it is less important for those K-JDs at the top of the class and increases in importance the lwoer down the curve you go.

The other reason W/E is helpful is that people with w/e generally have a different view on life and interactions with fellow students than those who go straight through. When someone has worked they have had to be a grown up, pay bills, work with people they may hate, interact with a boss, etc. This is why w/e is looked upon favorbaly, not because your career would help you in your legal career. The firms I interviewed with at OCI all told me they love the NU w/e thing because people with w/e already know how to behave in a work environment and what is expected, versus students who have only had part time work experience.

ETA: also, when you are asked to describe a crisis you managed, or a weakness you have worked on, events that have occurred at work are often more compelling than an undergrad experience. That said, the better the grades, the less it matters.

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scifiguy
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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:36 pm

Icculus wrote:Without venturing an overall guess, I would imagine that it is less important for those K-JDs at the top of the class and increases in importance the lwoer down the curve you go.

The other reason W/E is helpful is that people with w/e generally have a different view on life and interactions with fellow students than those who go straight through. When someone has worked they have had to be a grown up, pay bills, work with people they may hate, interact with a boss, etc. This is why w/e is looked upon favorbaly, not because your career would help you in your legal career. The firms I interviewed with at OCI all told me they love the NU w/e thing because people with w/e already know how to behave in a work environment and what is expected, versus students who have only had part time work experience.

ETA: also, when you are asked to describe a crisis you managed, or a weakness you have worked on, events that have occurred at work are often more compelling than an undergrad experience. That said, the better the grades, the less it matters.


Yeah, but I guess it's hard to predict that you would land in the top 10-15% where you'd be presumably protected from this disadvantage. For sure, if you're top of the class, I can see it wuoldn't matter at all.

But that's hard to predict. And you can't bank on these things. So for those without WE, I wonder about NU. I know it's all speculation, but I guess it's still a lingernig fear I'd persnoally have with going there out of UG.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby Icculus » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:45 pm

scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:Without venturing an overall guess, I would imagine that it is less important for those K-JDs at the top of the class and increases in importance the lwoer down the curve you go.

The other reason W/E is helpful is that people with w/e generally have a different view on life and interactions with fellow students than those who go straight through. When someone has worked they have had to be a grown up, pay bills, work with people they may hate, interact with a boss, etc. This is why w/e is looked upon favorbaly, not because your career would help you in your legal career. The firms I interviewed with at OCI all told me they love the NU w/e thing because people with w/e already know how to behave in a work environment and what is expected, versus students who have only had part time work experience.

ETA: also, when you are asked to describe a crisis you managed, or a weakness you have worked on, events that have occurred at work are often more compelling than an undergrad experience. That said, the better the grades, the less it matters.


Yeah, but I guess it's hard to predict that you would land in the top 10-15% where you'd be presumably protected from this disadvantage. For sure, if you're top of the class, I can see it wuoldn't matter at all.

But that's hard to predict. And you can't bank on these things. So for those without WE, I wonder about NU. I know it's all speculation, but I guess it's still a lingernig fear I'd persnoally have with going there out of UG.


There is a flaw here, specifically when dealing with OCI, w/e is not school specific. Firms in general like people with work experience from any school they interview at, not just NU. The only reason it only comes up here is because so many students have at least a year or two of experience. My guess is a median student at any law school w/ 1-2 years experience is going to have a slightly easier time than one without the w/e.

If anything, the only reason it is different at NU is since 90+% of us are not K-JD so you will be surrounded by a bunch of older students. While this helps us place better overall, I doubt that it hurts your chances of employment on an individual level.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby bdubs » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:47 pm

scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:Without venturing an overall guess, I would imagine that it is less important for those K-JDs at the top of the class and increases in importance the lwoer down the curve you go.

The other reason W/E is helpful is that people with w/e generally have a different view on life and interactions with fellow students than those who go straight through. When someone has worked they have had to be a grown up, pay bills, work with people they may hate, interact with a boss, etc. This is why w/e is looked upon favorbaly, not because your career would help you in your legal career. The firms I interviewed with at OCI all told me they love the NU w/e thing because people with w/e already know how to behave in a work environment and what is expected, versus students who have only had part time work experience.

ETA: also, when you are asked to describe a crisis you managed, or a weakness you have worked on, events that have occurred at work are often more compelling than an undergrad experience. That said, the better the grades, the less it matters.


Yeah, but I guess it's hard to predict that you would land in the top 10-15% where you'd be presumably protected from this disadvantage. For sure, if you're top of the class, I can see it wuoldn't matter at all.

But that's hard to predict. And you can't bank on these things. So for those without WE, I wonder about NU. I know it's all speculation, but I guess it's still a lingernig fear I'd persnoally have with going there out of UG.


I don't think there is any reason to fear coming to Northwestern as a K-JD. Our employment outcomes are definitively better than any of our peers. Even if you do not receive the work experience "bump" I doubt you would be any worse off than at any other school between 7-14 (Penn might be an exception).

NU also has a notoriously generous curve relative to some peers.

Just be smart like people usually advise and consider what market you want to live and work in when comparing schools. That should be the major tie-break factor here, not small variations in employment results based on work experience.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby suralin » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:40 pm

bdubs wrote:
scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:Without venturing an overall guess, I would imagine that it is less important for those K-JDs at the top of the class and increases in importance the lwoer down the curve you go.

The other reason W/E is helpful is that people with w/e generally have a different view on life and interactions with fellow students than those who go straight through. When someone has worked they have had to be a grown up, pay bills, work with people they may hate, interact with a boss, etc. This is why w/e is looked upon favorbaly, not because your career would help you in your legal career. The firms I interviewed with at OCI all told me they love the NU w/e thing because people with w/e already know how to behave in a work environment and what is expected, versus students who have only had part time work experience.

ETA: also, when you are asked to describe a crisis you managed, or a weakness you have worked on, events that have occurred at work are often more compelling than an undergrad experience. That said, the better the grades, the less it matters.


Yeah, but I guess it's hard to predict that you would land in the top 10-15% where you'd be presumably protected from this disadvantage. For sure, if you're top of the class, I can see it wuoldn't matter at all.

But that's hard to predict. And you can't bank on these things. So for those without WE, I wonder about NU. I know it's all speculation, but I guess it's still a lingernig fear I'd persnoally have with going there out of UG.


I don't think there is any reason to fear coming to Northwestern as a K-JD. Our employment outcomes are definitively better than any of our peers. Even if you do not receive the work experience "bump" I doubt you would be any worse off than at any other school between 7-14 (Penn might be an exception).

NU also has a notoriously generous curve relative to some peers.

Just be smart like people usually advise and consider what market you want to live and work in when comparing schools. That should be the major tie-break factor here, not small variations in employment results based on work experience.


It seems like the confusion here is that scifiguy is treating OCI and getting offers as a zero-sum game, where others (w/ WE) in your class doing better means that you (w/o WE) do worse, and so forth. I'm guessing that's not true from what bdubs and Icculus said, and that rather, your personal outcome is independent from those of others. You may still do worse because of a lack of WE, but not as a direct consequence of being compared to your peers who do have WE.

Am I on the right track?

ETA: Although it still should be noted, imo, that if it is the case that NU has a significantly higher percentage of students w/ WE, NU's placement statistics would be inflated--relative to other schools--from the perspective of someone without dat WE.
Last edited by suralin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Icculus
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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby Icculus » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:43 pm

Suralin wrote:
bdubs wrote:
scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:Without venturing an overall guess, I would imagine that it is less important for those K-JDs at the top of the class and increases in importance the lwoer down the curve you go.

The other reason W/E is helpful is that people with w/e generally have a different view on life and interactions with fellow students than those who go straight through. When someone has worked they have had to be a grown up, pay bills, work with people they may hate, interact with a boss, etc. This is why w/e is looked upon favorbaly, not because your career would help you in your legal career. The firms I interviewed with at OCI all told me they love the NU w/e thing because people with w/e already know how to behave in a work environment and what is expected, versus students who have only had part time work experience.

ETA: also, when you are asked to describe a crisis you managed, or a weakness you have worked on, events that have occurred at work are often more compelling than an undergrad experience. That said, the better the grades, the less it matters.


Yeah, but I guess it's hard to predict that you would land in the top 10-15% where you'd be presumably protected from this disadvantage. For sure, if you're top of the class, I can see it wuoldn't matter at all.

But that's hard to predict. And you can't bank on these things. So for those without WE, I wonder about NU. I know it's all speculation, but I guess it's still a lingernig fear I'd persnoally have with going there out of UG.


I don't think there is any reason to fear coming to Northwestern as a K-JD. Our employment outcomes are definitively better than any of our peers. Even if you do not receive the work experience "bump" I doubt you would be any worse off than at any other school between 7-14 (Penn might be an exception).

NU also has a notoriously generous curve relative to some peers.

Just be smart like people usually advise and consider what market you want to live and work in when comparing schools. That should be the major tie-break factor here, not small variations in employment results based on work experience.


It seems like the confusion here is that scifiguy is treating OCI and getting offers as a zero-sum game, where others (w/ WE) in your class doing better means that you (w/o WE) do worse, and so forth. I'm guessing that's not true from what bdubs and Icculus said, and that rather, your personal outcome is independent from those of others. You may still do worse because of a lack of WE, but not as a direct consequence of being compared to your peers who do have WE.

Am I on the right track?


Exactly.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby bdubs » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:53 pm

Suralin wrote:ETA: Although it still should be noted, imo, that if it is the case that NU has a significantly higher percentage of students w/ WE, NU's placement statistics would be inflated--relative to other schools--from the perspective of someone without dat WE.


That's why I noted that NU has much, much better employment outcomes with firms than GULC, Cornell, Duke, Michigan, and UVA. But you got the idea.

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2014
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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby 2014 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:04 pm

BigZuck wrote:Median at most t14s is already potentially troublesome, I can't imagine it's worse to be median at NU than, say, Duke.

Disagree, but of course it's all unknown without data anyway.

If hypothetical a firm interviews 10 people at each of Duke and NU all with relatively equal median grades, a K-JD is more likely to be a resume-peer with the other 9 interviewees at Duke, thus allowing him/her to properly compete for one of the limited callbacks.

At NU shouldn't that same K-JD be at a marked disadvantage since their resume is going to be in the bottom couple people? If so even an above average or solid interview is probably going to result in a no callback since odds are one or more of the other people will do well enough in the interview that combined with their resume, the K-JD never really had a chance unless he/she killed it.

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Re: Northwestern w/o Work Experience = Dangerous?

Postby bdubs » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:34 pm

2014 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Median at most t14s is already potentially troublesome, I can't imagine it's worse to be median at NU than, say, Duke.

Disagree, but of course it's all unknown without data anyway.

If hypothetical a firm interviews 10 people at each of Duke and NU all with relatively equal median grades, a K-JD is more likely to be a resume-peer with the other 9 interviewees at Duke, thus allowing him/her to properly compete for one of the limited callbacks.

At NU shouldn't that same K-JD be at a marked disadvantage since their resume is going to be in the bottom couple people? If so even an above average or solid interview is probably going to result in a no callback since odds are one or more of the other people will do well enough in the interview that combined with their resume, the K-JD never really had a chance unless he/she killed it.


No, I really think there is much more that goes into this equation than just a binary full-time work experience = 1, no full-time work experience = 0. Stuff like undergrad school and major can certainly play a role (I think people with prestigious UGs tend to get a closer look, engineers certainly get a bump). The interview itself matters too. Also, OCI at NU is all lottery so the firm isn't sitting there pre-selecting people from a pile of resumes anyway.

The candidate at Duke will also have to compete along the same multiple dimensions as well. I believe K-JD are a minority of students at all T14, including Duke (30-40%).




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