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Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:43 pm
by ExpectLess
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Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:16 pm
by Quine
ExpectLess wrote:
Did you make a huge difference in the lives of some awesome kids?


Maybe some difference in a few kids. But there are other ways to do that which don't involve self-flagellation. I'd like to think I'm doing good right now but still really enjoy my job/life.

I have a friend doing TFA next year who has never so much as tutored anyone in her life, and is knowingly padding her resume for law school.


Poor girl. She has no idea what she's getting herself into.


I'm sorry you had a shitty experience. At least your situation turned out better than this guy's:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_1_how_i_joined.html

This lady sums up my disgust for TFA nicely, as well:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2 ... r-america/

Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:41 pm
by kcg171
Wow, I don't know why this Quine person hates TFA or me, but I maintain that TFA teachers can make a huge difference in the lives of some awesome kids.
awesome kids example: I have freckles. One of my students tried to draw me, and another one said, "don't forget to color her polka dots."
huge difference example: bringing a 3rd grader from a 1st grade reading level to a 5th grade reading level in a year. One of my top ten accomplishments

This is my third year, and it does get easier each year, but I still work an average of 60 hours a week. I took the LSAT before I joined TFA. I tried to teach an LSAT class during my first year and didn't have time. I ended up doing private tutoring during the summer and my second year because teachers make no money.

In my informed opinion, if you just want a boost, increasing your LSAT score by 1 point will give you more of a boost than TFA (unless you already have a score in the 99th %).

Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:59 pm
by ChinaMex
I think if the OP really has a passion for TFA, it'll be a great experience and give you a good soft. However, if you're just mildly interested and need something to do before law school, I think you would get a far greater boost by spending all of that time and anxiety on LSAT and possibly getting 3+ points on your score.

Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:02 pm
by crysmissmichelle
Ditto, don't do TFA unless you are dedicated to it and really want to. . .you do not understand what you are getting yourself into. . .but no one can.

TFA is set up with the thought that a younger generation, even if inexperienced, can "reach" some of these kids better than even an experienced teacher due to generational differences and background. . . .they accept a lot of teachers from highly ranked undergrads without a degree or experience in teaching, partially for the prestige. . .

Experienced teachers (a lot of the time/not all of the time) take cozy jobs in "easier" schools than the TFA style schools. . .it really is a sad world. . .those of us who start out in TFA schools realize that the system is not designed to help you help these kids. . .it only makes your life harder. I ended up switching schools NOT because of the kids, but because of the administration and horrible situations that they place you in on a daily basis. . .and all of the extra paperwork they make you do to try to prove that they are doing their jobs. . .

Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:13 pm
by Barolo
TFA = not for the faint of heart.

ADCOMS love an applicant who has actually been out in the real world (doesn't trump numbers but it can certainly soften the impact of, say, a less than stellar UGPA). TFA is hard to get and I'd imagine that it would look great on a resume. But I also know (from people close to me who have done it) that it is incredibly time consuming and draining. I wouldn't envy anyone who is doing TFA and applying to law school at the same time.

I'm also with the people here who think that TFA is trying to do great things. Of course, things don't always go as planned but I would say that the people I know who have done it have come out stronger and better people because of it. And I'd like to think that they have actually done a little good too. Education is an uphill battle -- especially in chronically underserved markets. I won't knock someone for trying to do good, even if it doesn't work out right.

Do TFA if you want to do TFA. But if you're just looking for a subtle boost to your application, just get a job for a few years. Supplement it with volunteer work. But they call them 'softs' for a reason.

Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:21 pm
by tru
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Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:26 pm
by Locke N. Lawded
pauliv wrote:I have been thinking about taking time off to join Teach for America before applying to law school. How will this affect my potential admission decisions?

Thanks for any thoughts


Something like that looks great on an application, especially if the school you apply to has a strong public interest program. There really is no detriment to taking time off, and it can actually help you clarify your career goals.

Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:08 pm
by tru
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Re: Taking time off and its influence on admissions

Posted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:45 pm
by Quine
Locke N. Lawded wrote:
pauliv wrote:I have been thinking about taking time off to join Teach for America before applying to law school. How will this affect my potential admission decisions?

Thanks for any thoughts


Something like that looks great on an application, especially if the school you apply to has a strong public interest program. There really is no detriment to taking time off, and it can actually help you clarify your career goals.



You understand how time works right? Too often do people on this board advise others to "take a year (or more) off," like it's no big deal. It is a big deal.