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UCFtau
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Postby UCFtau » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:57 am

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Last edited by UCFtau on Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:55 am

I would say that what you assert in your post is a bit too general to be applied broadly to all applicants. In most cases, softs (including solid post-grad WE) appear to be more of tie-breakers moreso than deal-makers. Also, not all WE is created equal. Some of it is done for a long time by applicants (e.g. 4+ yrs), some of it is unique and interesting (e.g. adding a sort of diversity to the class), and some of it is prestigious (e.g. maybe investment banking?).

Specifically regarding you, what law schools are you applying to? In the T14, an applicant with your GPA, no WE, and a 1 point higher LSAT score is probably in a better position. Your work experience is really only 1 year in the eyes of admission boards and is not really that unique / special / interesting / prestigious. I would say, based on my experience applying and based on my knowledge from reading this website as well as other sources, that the adding points to the LSAT would only happen to URMs or people with truly mind-blowing softs.

HTH.

czelede
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby czelede » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:29 am

No effect on your LSAT. But for schools that prefer work experience, it would give you a boost over applicants with the same LSAT. At best if you were non traditional and had a low GPA stellar work experience could help you overcome that less than shiny number - but again, only with a high LSAT to begin with.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:58 am

Work experience helps to mitigate the impact of a bad GPA. The idea is that yes, you screwed up when you were younger, but now you've shown some experience that indicates that you've grown up a bit and will do better in law school. It will not help your LSAT, because what does work experience have to do with how well/poorly you do on a standardized exam on logic?

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ahduth
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby ahduth » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:46 pm

I'm unconvinced anything but the most exceptional work experience has any impact on admissions whatsoever. What you're talking about - 2 years of work as a paralegal or something - would have no impact whatsoever, beyond perhaps gaining you an additional recommender.

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bk1
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:49 pm

ahduth wrote:I'm unconvinced anything but the most exceptional work experience has any impact on admissions whatsoever. What you're talking about - 2 years of work as a paralegal or something - would have no impact whatsoever, beyond perhaps gaining you an additional recommender.


It'll have an effect at places that care about work exp (e.g. Harvard, NU) and it'll have an effect at the margins (e.g. people with GPAs that are barely above the GPA floor at a given school). But in general I agree it won't do much of anything.

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ahduth
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby ahduth » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:55 pm

bk1 wrote:
ahduth wrote:I'm unconvinced anything but the most exceptional work experience has any impact on admissions whatsoever. What you're talking about - 2 years of work as a paralegal or something - would have no impact whatsoever, beyond perhaps gaining you an additional recommender.


It'll have an effect at places that care about work exp (e.g. Harvard, NU) and it'll have an effect at the margins (e.g. people with GPAs that are barely above the GPA floor at a given school). But in general I agree it won't do much of anything.


True, YHS and NU are actually a separate case, as far as the T14 go at any rate. And Harvard I had actually thought was largely a numbers mill.

As far as the other schools, why would it matter? It's these people's jobs to gun their schools higher in the USNWR rankings. Work experience doesn't figure into that at all.

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bk1
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:01 pm

ahduth wrote:True, YHS and NU are actually a separate case, as far as the T14 go at any rate. And Harvard I had actually thought was largely a numbers mill.

As far as the other schools, why would it matter? It's these people's jobs to gun their schools higher in the USNWR rankings. Work experience doesn't figure into that at all.


Harvard is, but they have been making a push towards fewer K-JDs, iirc.

It matters because adcomms are human. I mean having GPA floors doesn't make any sense because it doesn't help USNWR rankings (in fact it can hurt it because you are limiting the pool of splitters you would normally take), but schools have them anyways. I believe that at a school with a 3.0 GPA floor that somebody 3.0 splitter will benefit a decent amount from work experience (possibly pushing them from waitlist to admit).

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ahduth
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby ahduth » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:17 pm

bk1 wrote:
ahduth wrote:True, YHS and NU are actually a separate case, as far as the T14 go at any rate. And Harvard I had actually thought was largely a numbers mill.

As far as the other schools, why would it matter? It's these people's jobs to gun their schools higher in the USNWR rankings. Work experience doesn't figure into that at all.


Harvard is, but they have been making a push towards fewer K-JDs, iirc.

It matters because adcomms are human. I mean having GPA floors doesn't make any sense because it doesn't help USNWR rankings (in fact it can hurt it because you are limiting the pool of splitters you would normally take), but schools have them anyways. I believe that at a school with a 3.0 GPA floor that somebody 3.0 splitter will benefit a decent amount from work experience (possibly pushing them from waitlist to admit).


Your point is fair, although in my cynicism I view adcomms as about as "human" as corporate HR departments, who are tasked with blowing sunshine up your ass while they cut your pension.

These splitters we're talking about are extreme outliers in their admit pool. You have to figure that CCNMVPDNCwhatever all admit basically the same people, right? So your median candidate of 172/3.6 gets acceptances at all these schools. The schools are all going to wait until they hear back from that person before they return to the splitters. Because why would they take a 172/3.0 over a 172/3.6? They won't, until they know they're not getting the 172/3.6. That's the purpose of the waitlists.

So while I agree that solid (but not exceptional) work experience obviously isn't going to hurt you, I don't believe it's really moving you around within the admit pools. Perhaps within the waitlist pools once the schools have their medians locked down. I might just be incredibly jaded though lol.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:23 pm

ahduth wrote: I might just be incredibly jaded though lol.


I think you are. If you typically look at mega splitters that had great cycles vs. mega splitters that didn't have great cycles, substantive WE is usually a pretty easy place to find a difference between the applicants.

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ahduth
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby ahduth » Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:39 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
ahduth wrote: I might just be incredibly jaded though lol.


I think you are. If you typically look at mega splitters that had great cycles vs. mega splitters that didn't have great cycles, substantive WE is usually a pretty easy place to find a difference between the applicants.


Yeah, actually I definitely am rather jaded. Probably part of why I decided to go into law. At any rate, I haven't really looked at many splitter cycles, so I'm just talking smack on some level.

I guess part of it comes down to how we're defining "solid," "substantial," or "exceptional," work experience. I just don't see adcomms monkeying around with vanilla splitters before they have confidence they can maintain/raise their medians. At what point does the work experience become "substantial" enough to merit admitting someone who lies outside the medians? How many of those people can you afford to offer admits to? I'm just thinking that work experience is a differentiator, but not to the point where it defeats the supreme importance of the medians and the USNWR ranking.

BoriquaEsquire
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby BoriquaEsquire » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:45 pm

I think I can handle this one...

I had an LSAT in the 160s and a 3.4 GPA. I did two cycles, one during my senior year of college and one after a year of working as a paralegal.

During my first cycle, the only school I got into was a public T50. During my second cycle, I got into 2 T25 schools and a T6 school (with scholarship).

For me, work experience made all the difference.

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PDaddy
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby PDaddy » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:00 pm

UCFtau wrote:I came across a blog or forum recently which stated that 1-2 years of work experience has the effect of, in essence, adding 2 points to your LSAT score (in the school's mind). Any input on this? I'm trying to figure out how to best factor in 1.5 years of law firm work experience (.5 while in undergrad) in my chances of gaining acceptance to some schools. Knowing whether or not it essentially adds a few points to my LSAT score would be a huge help.


I have never heard this, so I don't give it much credit. Moreover, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Here's why:

Work experience certainly bolsters the perception of UGPA, as it absolutely should.

Theoretically, I can see where it may, in those instances where a person worked extensive hours during his pre-testing period (without taking a course), bolster the perception of his LSAT score just a bit, but not to any tangible score difference. However, adcoms are not nearly as forgiving with LSAT scores, because a person can always wait to take the LSAT. That isn't necessarily the case with UG courses.

Once a student who works begins UG, he is presumably also getting financial aid, meaning he has to maintain satisfactory degree progress or lose his aid. So dropping out, or even reducing one's schedule, is not always an option for the working student.

This is why adcoms are far more forgiving when it comes to steady UG work experience and UG grades. Also, a person who has performed well despite having to work demonstrates that he can handle insane workloads, something needed in law school and beyond.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Work Experience and its effect on how schools perceive LSAT?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:00 am

BoriquaEsquire wrote:I think I can handle this one...

I had an LSAT in the 160s and a 3.4 GPA. I did two cycles, one during my senior year of college and one after a year of working as a paralegal.

During my first cycle, the only school I got into was a public T50. During my second cycle, I got into 2 T25 schools and a T6 school (with scholarship).

For me, work experience made all the difference.


Did you apply late your first cycle and early your second cycle? Being URM, this could have a major impact on your cycle because of how unpredictable URM cycles can be sometimes.




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