Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

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Burrowes
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Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby Burrowes » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:37 pm

I will have been a teacher for three years prior to entering law school, and in the world of education this certainly counts as a "leadership" role. Buzz words such as "teacher leader" and "teacher leadership" are common in my world, but the world of education is generally filled with empty buzz words.

I understand that law schools are looking for people with "leadership experience," but from my perspective this term is thrown around so much that it has become almost meaningless. Would my role as an instructor count (in the eyes of a law school admissions committee) as a leadership position? Generally, what are examples of "leadership positions" according to law schools? Are they thinking about things like being president of a club in college?

If it matters, I have a 3.67 undergrad GPA from a top school, a 3.97 for my MA in English, and a 170 on the LSAT. I'm hoping to get a full ride so I can practice public interest law without an impending sense of doom lurking beneath every low paycheck I receive...

Any advice is much appreciated!

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Knock
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby Knock » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:40 pm

Burrowes wrote:I will have been a teacher for three years prior to entering law school, and in the world of education this certainly counts as a "leadership" role. Buzz words such as "teacher leader" and "teacher leadership" are common in my world, but the world of education is generally filled with empty buzz words.

I understand that law schools are looking for people with "leadership experience," but from my perspective this term is thrown around so much that it has become almost meaningless. Would my role as an instructor count (in the eyes of a law school admissions committee) as a leadership position? Generally, what are examples of "leadership positions" according to law schools? Are they thinking about things like being president of a club in college?

If it matters, I have a 3.67 undergrad GPA from a top school, a 3.97 for my MA in English, and a 170 on the LSAT. I'm hoping to get a full ride so I can practice public interest law without an impending sense of doom lurking beneath every low paycheck I receive...

Any advice is much appreciated!


I think it would count much more so as work experience, but it won't make a difference however they count it lol. Softs, whether you want to call them work experience or leadership position are just about the least significant part of the application package. You have a 3.67 and 170, you will get a full ride from somewhere.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:41 pm

Yeah, sure, I'd count it. TeachforAmerica talks about leadership all the time. I'm sure teachers count as leaders too. It doesn't really matter though.

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:04 pm

It is work experience that has a leadership component built into it. The leadership skills you develop teaching are transferable, so they should be considered an asset. If you want to emphasize this, the PS is a great way to do it (as is using the appropriate "active verbs" in your resume).

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clintonius
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby clintonius » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:20 pm

I'd say it's pretty clearly an example of a leadership position, but you also need to make sure that you present it in such a way that it's clear to whoever is reading your materials. Instead of saying, "instructed on X topic," talk about leading discussions, guiding students to understanding and exam success, etc.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:23 pm

Burrowes wrote:I will have been a teacher for three years prior to entering law school, and in the world of education this certainly counts as a "leadership" role. Buzz words such as "teacher leader" and "teacher leadership" are common in my world, but the world of education is generally filled with empty buzz words.

I understand that law schools are looking for people with "leadership experience," but from my perspective this term is thrown around so much that it has become almost meaningless. Would my role as an instructor count (in the eyes of a law school admissions committee) as a leadership position? Generally, what are examples of "leadership positions" according to law schools? Are they thinking about things like being president of a club in college?

If it matters, I have a 3.67 undergrad GPA from a top school, a 3.97 for my MA in English, and a 170 on the LSAT. I'm hoping to get a full ride so I can practice public interest law without an impending sense of doom lurking beneath every low paycheck I receive...

Any advice is much appreciated!


No! It counts as a failure. Go kill yourself.

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Ragged
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby Ragged » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:08 pm

No. Those who can't do teach. And those who can't teach teach gym. ~Jack Black.

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romothesavior
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:08 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Yeah, sure, I'd count it. TeachforAmerica talks about leadership all the time. I'm sure teachers count as leaders too. It doesn't really matter though.


TITCR. Talk about it, perhaps even highlight it if it exemplifies who you are, but "leadership" is not quantifiable data that is scored by USNWR, so don't expect a huge bump.

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2ofspades
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Re: Does being a teacher count as a "leadership position"?

Postby 2ofspades » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:22 pm

OP, adcomms will view being a teacher as a much better soft factor than being a president of a club in undergrad, so I don't think you should feel at a disadvantage compared to undergrads on the basis of softs.

What I want to say though is that your numbers will get you into a fantastic school regardless of whether teaching is considered leadership, and the best school for you might not offer you $ and probably not $$$ - and if you choose to take out loans at a top school, I don't think you would need to feel an impending sense of doom. Have you looked up IBR and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which are federal programs, as well as schools' LRAPs? There's a lot of financial support for law students who take out loans to go to school and then go into the public sector, and attending a prestigious school will help you get the public interest jobs that interest you most.

All this to say...I hope you apply to the lower T14 in addition to schools that will give you a full ride so that, come next year, you'll have a very good set of options to choose between.




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