How much weight is put on work experience?

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Underdog180
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How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby Underdog180 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:49 pm

If an applicant is pretty strong in numbers in terms of GPA and LSAT score, but lacks the work experience, would that look bad? In other words, how would a school look at GPA/LSAT vs. other soft factors when making their decision?

LSATclincher
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby LSATclincher » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:34 pm

I have the exact opposite view. I think a high LSAT score trumps all. GPA can help balance a lower LSAT score. I don't think work experience matters if your numbers are good, especially if your LSAT is at or above the 75%.

But I have a related question: Can work experience help balance a lower LSAT score, especially in applying to a PT program? Also, can we assume most people in a PT program are currently working in law?

09042014
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:38 pm

Other than Northwestern schools don't care that much. It can help if you have a poor GPA in some cases.

taxguy
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby taxguy » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:40 pm

First, let me start off by saying that I am an attorney who did reasonably well on the LSAT many years ago. I also believe that it is probably the most worthless piece of crap as far as predictabiliy around. This is particularly true for the recent iteration of the LSAT that was instituted about 25 years ago. I have seen kids who did well on the LSAT bomb law school and seen kids who had lower LSAT scores than most of the class do well. It is astounding to me that law schools weigh the exam as strongly as they do.

However, with that said, I am sad to inform you that based on conversations with admission officers, they don't count work experience very heavily UNLESS you have done something extraordinary such as getting a performance award from the Department of Justice or uncovering a major,well-publicized fraud as a fraud investigator etc. Even then, the LSAT probably is vastly more important. Law schools might discount a mediocre GPA if you have been out of school a while and have achieved substantial quality work experience,but I don't think they will discount the LSAT. Admittedly anything is possible, and I am sure there are some lower ranked schools who do take "chances" on some applicants. However, for the vast majority of cases, I think the general rule is that work experience won't trump a poor LSAT score.

For what it's worth, my son completely bombed the LSAT with a high score of 146. He does, however, have very strong work experience with all kinds of recommendations and awards. He also has written one of the strongest personal statements I have ever seen. We shall see how these soft factors will play out. If the soft factors do have a positive affect, I will publish this on this forum. Honestly, I am not very optimistic.
Last edited by taxguy on Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:34 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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joebloe
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby joebloe » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:43 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Other than Northwestern schools don't care that much. It can help if you have a poor GPA in some cases.


And I would question whether that's actually due to the WE or because the GPA is just stale. A lot happens in a couple years... even if you've been doing a stretch in the joint.

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androstan
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby androstan » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:44 pm

I think that work experience and the (current) possession of a "real job" helps your prospects at PT programs like GULC/GW/Fordham/AU/GMU/etc.

09042014
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:46 pm

joebloe wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Other than Northwestern schools don't care that much. It can help if you have a poor GPA in some cases.


And I would question whether that's actually due to the WE or because the GPA is just stale. A lot happens in a couple years... even if you've been doing a stretch in the joint.


Probably both. GPA is mostly a work ethic indicator. So is W/E.

mimi82
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Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby mimi82 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:48 pm

Some of lawyer friends say work experience is good for the school too depending on what it is. Remember that list students with prior work experience as XYZ. My friends keep trying to get me to apply to schools out of the DC area because of my work experience. They say because my experience is more unique to the pool of applicants in CA rather than DC. But I've never heard that me working for 10 years is the bonus rather than what type of work I've done.

LSATclincher
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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: How much weight is put on work experience?

Postby LSATclincher » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:51 pm

taxguy wrote:First, let me start off by saying that I am an attorney who did reasonably well on the LSAT many years ago. I also believe that it is probably the most worthless piece of crap as far as predictabiliy around. This is particularly true for the recent iteration of the LSAT that was instituted about 25 years ago. I have seen kids who did well on the LSAT bomb law school and seen kids who had lower LSAT scores than most of the class do well. It is astounding to me that law schools weigh the exam as strongly as they do.

However, with that said, I am sad to inform you that based on conversations with admission officers, they don't count work experience very heavily UNLESS you have done something extraordinary such as getting a performance award from the Department of Justice etc. Even then, the LSAT probably is vastly more important. Law schools might discount a mediocre GPA if you have been out of school a while and have achieved substantial quality work experience,but I don't think they will discount the LSAT. Again, anything is possible, and I am sure there are some schools who do take "chances" on some applicants. However, for the vast majority of cases, I think the general rule is that work experience won't trump a poor LSAT score.

For what it's worth, my son completely bombed the LSAT with a high score of 146. He does, however, have very strong work experience with all kinds of recommendations and awards. We shall see what effect these soft factors will play out. If the soft factors do have a positive affect, I will publish this on this forum. Honestly, I am not very optimistic.


Thanks, sir. I work/worked with roughly 10 lawyers who all say the same thing. Work experience is the most important thing in the business. And they say the profession is "not only about logic." Good luck to your son.




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