Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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MichiganHoosier
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MichiganHoosier » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:30 am

Thank you so much for the detailed reply. It was beyond helpful!

Cjackson
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cjackson » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:45 pm

Cjackson wrote:Hey everyone, I'm re-applying this year after sitting it out for a year and reassessing due to a rough cycle. I have improved my GPA significantly and hope to do the same to my LSAT in SEP. I have a couple questions though I'm hoping some of you can help me with.

Last year I applied with what I would now consider a half-assed effort. Mainly because I did not write an addendum for my horrible GPA during my first two years and my 4.0 for the last two years after restarting school after joining the military. I also didn't write a diversity statement. Between the two of those, I feel like I left a lot on the table. I had a lot going on last year between returning from a deployment, going right into the LSAT and preparing to ETS while deciding to go to LS or take a deployment contractor job (I guess subconsciously I wanted to go for the overseas money).

Does anyone happen to have an example of something they put together for either of those that I could use as a guide? I'm hoping for some type of a GPA addendum and an idea of what a diversity statement might look like. I don't have a clue about them as far as formatting and content is concerned.

My other question is regarding JAG and its possible affects on practicing law after the military. I guess I just don't know the full extent of what a JAG officer can do in the military but I can't help but wonder if I took that path because I enjoy the military and the retirement, that it might hinder my opportunities outside of GOV down the road. I'm curious to hear what some current JAGs have to say about it.

Thanks in advance.



Anybody..........anything?? Could really use an example or two of a GPA addendum (someone has to have one written about being a crappy student before joining and then turning things around down the road) and a diversity statement. Just need something to point me in the right direction.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:12 pm

Cjackson wrote:
Cjackson wrote:Hey everyone, I'm re-applying this year after sitting it out for a year and reassessing due to a rough cycle. I have improved my GPA significantly and hope to do the same to my LSAT in SEP. I have a couple questions though I'm hoping some of you can help me with.

Last year I applied with what I would now consider a half-assed effort. Mainly because I did not write an addendum for my horrible GPA during my first two years and my 4.0 for the last two years after restarting school after joining the military. I also didn't write a diversity statement. Between the two of those, I feel like I left a lot on the table. I had a lot going on last year between returning from a deployment, going right into the LSAT and preparing to ETS while deciding to go to LS or take a deployment contractor job (I guess subconsciously I wanted to go for the overseas money).

Does anyone happen to have an example of something they put together for either of those that I could use as a guide? I'm hoping for some type of a GPA addendum and an idea of what a diversity statement might look like. I don't have a clue about them as far as formatting and content is concerned.

My other question is regarding JAG and its possible affects on practicing law after the military. I guess I just don't know the full extent of what a JAG officer can do in the military but I can't help but wonder if I took that path because I enjoy the military and the retirement, that it might hinder my opportunities outside of GOV down the road. I'm curious to hear what some current JAGs have to say about it.

Thanks in advance.



Anybody..........anything?? Could really use an example or two of a GPA addendum (someone has to have one written about being a crappy student before joining and then turning things around down the road) and a diversity statement. Just need something to point me in the right direction.


I don't think a GPA addendum would be very helpful, honestly.

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MT Cicero
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:14 am

Wipfelder wrote:
Cjackson wrote:
Cjackson wrote:Hey everyone, I'm re-applying this year after sitting it out for a year and reassessing due to a rough cycle. I have improved my GPA significantly and hope to do the same to my LSAT in SEP. I have a couple questions though I'm hoping some of you can help me with.

Last year I applied with what I would now consider a half-assed effort. Mainly because I did not write an addendum for my horrible GPA during my first two years and my 4.0 for the last two years after restarting school after joining the military. I also didn't write a diversity statement. Between the two of those, I feel like I left a lot on the table. I had a lot going on last year between returning from a deployment, going right into the LSAT and preparing to ETS while deciding to go to LS or take a deployment contractor job (I guess subconsciously I wanted to go for the overseas money).

Does anyone happen to have an example of something they put together for either of those that I could use as a guide? I'm hoping for some type of a GPA addendum and an idea of what a diversity statement might look like. I don't have a clue about them as far as formatting and content is concerned.

My other question is regarding JAG and its possible affects on practicing law after the military. I guess I just don't know the full extent of what a JAG officer can do in the military but I can't help but wonder if I took that path because I enjoy the military and the retirement, that it might hinder my opportunities outside of GOV down the road. I'm curious to hear what some current JAGs have to say about it.

Thanks in advance.



Anybody..........anything?? Could really use an example or two of a GPA addendum (someone has to have one written about being a crappy student before joining and then turning things around down the road) and a diversity statement. Just need something to point me in the right direction.


I don't think a GPA addendum would be very helpful, honestly.


Yeah, tough to know whether one would help, but usually one would write it because of something very acute during school which caused a semester (or maybe a year) to go severely bad. The "I was a bad student but look at me now" isn't usually the addendum side of the house. So many people are in that boat.

I was a bad undergrad student who just stayed bad. I initially thought about writing an addendum letting them know that was 10+ years ago/look at my Masters/whatever. I didn't. I didn't even really hit it during my personal statement, other than weaving in a sentence or two that hinted at it. Not overt though.

Admissions offices have dozens or hundreds of people who were bad students--then got good. Likely many military are in the same boat. Having now worked closely with an admissions office at a T14, I just don't see an admissions officer going, "Ah ha. I see what happened here. He/she's now ready for law school."

I'd go with no addendum myself, absent circumstances (family death, crime against you, etc.) that make it more than a bad-to-good tale.

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usn26
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby usn26 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:33 am

MT Cicero wrote:Yeah, tough to know whether one would help, but usually one would write it because of something very acute during school which caused a semester (or maybe a year) to go severely bad. The "I was a bad student but look at me now" isn't usually the addendum side of the house. So many people are in that boat.

I was a bad undergrad student who just stayed bad. I initially thought about writing an addendum letting them know that was 10+ years ago/look at my Masters/whatever. I didn't. I didn't even really hit it during my personal statement, other than weaving in a sentence or two that hinted at it. Not overt though.

Admissions offices have dozens or hundreds of people who were bad students--then got good. Likely many military are in the same boat. Having now worked closely with an admissions office at a T14, I just don't see an admissions officer going, "Ah ha. I see what happened here. He/she's now ready for law school."

I'd go with no addendum myself, absent circumstances (family death, crime against you, etc.) that make it more than a bad-to-good tale.


^^

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MichiganHoosier
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MichiganHoosier » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:06 pm

MT Cicero wrote:
Wipfelder wrote:
Cjackson wrote:
Cjackson wrote:Hey everyone, I'm re-applying this year after sitting it out for a year and reassessing due to a rough cycle. I have improved my GPA significantly and hope to do the same to my LSAT in SEP. I have a couple questions though I'm hoping some of you can help me with.

Last year I applied with what I would now consider a half-assed effort. Mainly because I did not write an addendum for my horrible GPA during my first two years and my 4.0 for the last two years after restarting school after joining the military. I also didn't write a diversity statement. Between the two of those, I feel like I left a lot on the table. I had a lot going on last year between returning from a deployment, going right into the LSAT and preparing to ETS while deciding to go to LS or take a deployment contractor job (I guess subconsciously I wanted to go for the overseas money).

Does anyone happen to have an example of something they put together for either of those that I could use as a guide? I'm hoping for some type of a GPA addendum and an idea of what a diversity statement might look like. I don't have a clue about them as far as formatting and content is concerned.

My other question is regarding JAG and its possible affects on practicing law after the military. I guess I just don't know the full extent of what a JAG officer can do in the military but I can't help but wonder if I took that path because I enjoy the military and the retirement, that it might hinder my opportunities outside of GOV down the road. I'm curious to hear what some current JAGs have to say about it.

Thanks in advance.



Anybody..........anything?? Could really use an example or two of a GPA addendum (someone has to have one written about being a crappy student before joining and then turning things around down the road) and a diversity statement. Just need something to point me in the right direction.


I don't think a GPA addendum would be very helpful, honestly.


Yeah, tough to know whether one would help, but usually one would write it because of something very acute during school which caused a semester (or maybe a year) to go severely bad. The "I was a bad student but look at me now" isn't usually the addendum side of the house. So many people are in that boat.

I was a bad undergrad student who just stayed bad. I initially thought about writing an addendum letting them know that was 10+ years ago/look at my Masters/whatever. I didn't. I didn't even really hit it during my personal statement, other than weaving in a sentence or two that hinted at it. Not overt though.

Admissions offices have dozens or hundreds of people who were bad students--then got good. Likely many military are in the same boat. Having now worked closely with an admissions office at a T14, I just don't see an admissions officer going, "Ah ha. I see what happened here. He/she's now ready for law school."

I'd go with no addendum myself, absent circumstances (family death, crime against you, etc.) that make it more than a bad-to-good tale.


When MT Cicero speaks, you listen.

Cjackson
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cjackson » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:50 pm

MT Cicero wrote:
Wipfelder wrote:
Cjackson wrote:
Cjackson wrote:Hey everyone, I'm re-applying this year after sitting it out for a year and reassessing due to a rough cycle. I have improved my GPA significantly and hope to do the same to my LSAT in SEP. I have a couple questions though I'm hoping some of you can help me with.

Last year I applied with what I would now consider a half-assed effort. Mainly because I did not write an addendum for my horrible GPA during my first two years and my 4.0 for the last two years after restarting school after joining the military. I also didn't write a diversity statement. Between the two of those, I feel like I left a lot on the table. I had a lot going on last year between returning from a deployment, going right into the LSAT and preparing to ETS while deciding to go to LS or take a deployment contractor job (I guess subconsciously I wanted to go for the overseas money).

Does anyone happen to have an example of something they put together for either of those that I could use as a guide? I'm hoping for some type of a GPA addendum and an idea of what a diversity statement might look like. I don't have a clue about them as far as formatting and content is concerned.

My other question is regarding JAG and its possible affects on practicing law after the military. I guess I just don't know the full extent of what a JAG officer can do in the military but I can't help but wonder if I took that path because I enjoy the military and the retirement, that it might hinder my opportunities outside of GOV down the road. I'm curious to hear what some current JAGs have to say about it.

Thanks in advance.


Anybody..........anything?? Could really use an example or two of a GPA addendum (someone has to have one written about being a crappy student before joining and then turning things around down the road) and a diversity statement. Just need something to point me in the right direction.


I don't think a GPA addendum would be very helpful, honestly.


Yeah, tough to know whether one would help, but usually one would write it because of something very acute during school which caused a semester (or maybe a year) to go severely bad. The "I was a bad student but look at me now" isn't usually the addendum side of the house. So many people are in that boat.

I was a bad undergrad student who just stayed bad. I initially thought about writing an addendum letting them know that was 10+ years ago/look at my Masters/whatever. I didn't. I didn't even really hit it during my personal statement, other than weaving in a sentence or two that hinted at it. Not overt though.

Admissions offices have dozens or hundreds of people who were bad students--then got good. Likely many military are in the same boat. Having now worked closely with an admissions office at a T14, I just don't see an admissions officer going, "Ah ha. I see what happened here. He/she's now ready for law school."

I'd go with no addendum myself, absent circumstances (family death, crime against you, etc.) that make it more than a bad-to-good tale.



Thank you guys for your input. My situation is one of those you kinda touched on in which a death in the family around the time I started school resulted in having to take on financial responsibilities around the household to help my family out. I touched on it in my personal statement but I didn't mention the impact it had on school. I'll go through my statement and make sure they wouldn't be saying the same thing if I decided to write one.

Do you guys have an example of a diversity statement you wouldn't mind sharing??

AJordan
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:52 am

Any other Army NCOs celebrating passover today?

KPUSN07
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KPUSN07 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:29 pm

A few questions - do many veterans apply to law school? Are veterans ranked at the admissions board against each other or looked at against other candidates (or both I guess)?

Timm
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Timm » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:37 am

I'm British military, posted out here in the US.

Does anybody have any objections to me tagging along to this thread?

AJordan
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:18 am

Timm wrote:I'm British military, posted out here in the US.

Does anybody have any objections to me tagging along to this thread?


Hell no. Anybody who signed up knowing Helmand province was an option deserves all the respect they can get.

nubcs
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby nubcs » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:43 am

KPUSN07 wrote:A few questions - do many veterans apply to law school? Are veterans ranked at the admissions board against each other or looked at against other candidates (or both I guess)?


I think veterans are more likely to apply to business school than law school, from what I've seen from the guys transitioning around the same time as me, and from visiting law schools. For example, I think at NYU, the guys running the veterans' association last year said they had four members total, while their MBA counterparts had 10+.

As for veterans ranked against each other, I don't think that's the case. You'll almost certainly get looked at with all other candidates. That being said, some schools do have a veterans' committee that assists in the admissions process, at least as an extra pair of eyes to help explain things on resumes and personal statements.

pikachoo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby pikachoo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:48 pm

.
Last edited by pikachoo on Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nagster5
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Nagster5 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:43 pm

pikachoo wrote:Hey guys,

I see that many posts here are about admissions.

Does anyone know if US military veterans receive any boost when it comes to hiring/getting clerkships?

How do top law firms look at T14 graduates with US military experience? Any boost?

Thank you in advance!


It's a much bigger boost for hiring than for admissions. Vets usually outperform their grades considerably.

pikachoo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby pikachoo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:00 pm

.
Last edited by pikachoo on Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nagster5
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Nagster5 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:10 pm

pikachoo wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
pikachoo wrote:Hey guys,

I see that many posts here are about admissions.

Does anyone know if US military veterans receive any boost when it comes to hiring/getting clerkships?

How do top law firms look at T14 graduates with US military experience? Any boost?

Thank you in advance!


It's a much bigger boost for hiring than for admissions. Vets usually outperform their grades considerably.


Oh really? What is it about military veterans that might appeal to law firm hiring? I can think of a bunch myself (discipline, teamwork, etc) but I was wondering what/how law firms think. Thankss.


Biglaw firms are hiring mostly kids who are straight through from undergrad, or maybe did TFA or worked on the hill for a year of 2 before law school. They then take them and put them in one of the most demanding professional jobs out there in terms of time commitment and 24/7 availability. Seeing military experience shows them that you know how to work hard, pay attention to detail, and tolerate not having control of your schedule (for much, much less pay). They really value any work experience, but things like banking or the military, which are high stress 24/7 jobs, look particularly attractive.

It also might be that military people know how to conduct themselves professionally, and the cupcake interview process for biglaw gives us a chance to shine when compared to many of our classmates who don't handle stress well.

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UVA2B
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby UVA2B » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:19 pm

Nagster5 wrote:
pikachoo wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:
pikachoo wrote:Hey guys,

I see that many posts here are about admissions.

Does anyone know if US military veterans receive any boost when it comes to hiring/getting clerkships?

How do top law firms look at T14 graduates with US military experience? Any boost?

Thank you in advance!


It's a much bigger boost for hiring than for admissions. Vets usually outperform their grades considerably.


Oh really? What is it about military veterans that might appeal to law firm hiring? I can think of a bunch myself (discipline, teamwork, etc) but I was wondering what/how law firms think. Thankss.


Biglaw firms are hiring mostly kids who are straight through from undergrad, or maybe did TFA or worked on the hill for a year of 2 before law school. They then take them and put them in one of the most demanding professional jobs out there in terms of time commitment and 24/7 availability. Seeing military experience shows them that you know how to work hard, pay attention to detail, and tolerate not having control of your schedule (for much, much less pay). They really value any work experience, but things like banking or the military, which are high stress 24/7 jobs, look particularly attractive.

It also might be that military people know how to conduct themselves professionally, and the cupcake interview process for biglaw gives us a chance to shine when compared to many of our classmates who don't handle stress well.


All of this. There's also a not-insignificant deferential aura around military service that people attach because of "thank you for your service" combined with a mentality of "I could never do that, so it's de facto admirable." At least a partial truth is that military vets tend to carry themselves with confidence which, when combined with the resume and credentials, makes them outperform their strict academic credentials.

But seriously, are you considering military service in order to leverage your eventual Harvard degree, or are you a veteran seeking guidance?

J0100+2802
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby J0100+2802 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:25 pm

First post here,

Appreciate all the information everyone here contributes and wanted to run a quick question by you guys. How do law schools and big firms look upon someone who only served for a year but was honorably discharged after an injury that occurred? My time in service was cut incredibly short which was a real bummer at the time. Does this short period of service weaken my status as a veteran in the eyes of an admissions committee or perhaps in a hiring aspect later down the line?

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:35 pm

Nagster5 wrote: It also might be that military people know how to conduct themselves professionally, and the cupcake interview process for biglaw gives us a chance to shine when compared to many of our classmates who don't handle stress well.


When preparing for the "cupcake" interview process:

It is important to spend lots of time on "crafting" your resume and Q/A's about your experience to tailor to your audience. I know several vets who "winged it" for OCI and struck out from T-14's. I'd spend a good amount of time developing "tiers" of answers/anecdotes. Some firms I interviewed with had a young associate, using a script, ask; "what was the worst thing you've ever been through, and how did you get through it?" I'm pretty sure they didn't really want to hear what my actual worse day was, so I went with a PG-ish anecdote that still showed using "grit, teamwork, and focus to overcome odds", or whatever. Some interviewers seemed to actually want to hear war stories, but I reconfirmed, just to be sure.

Issues I've seen come up with veterans:

1. Connecting with people who don't give a crap about military stuff, and want to talk about stuff they think is cool, like LR, UG, Torts, or whatever.

2. Explaining the "why this city".....lots of vets don't really have roots. Have a really good, well-thought out reason. I underestimated how important this was; I think I got dinged a lot because of it.

3. Drinking with partners/associates. Totally cool to have a few and let loose a bit, but, um, as the law-people relax and get PG-13, it isn't an invitation to cut-loose military-style. Army/Marine/Navy-style LOLZ can be really dark and off-color for the uninitiated.

Basically, if you do proper interview prep, target the right firms, and understand the human terrain, you'll probably kill OCI (or your school's equivalent). If not, you'll suck, and could be scrambling for a job like so many of those K/JD introverts who got median-owned.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:36 pm

J0100+2802 wrote:First post here,

Appreciate all the information everyone here contributes and wanted to run a quick question by you guys. How do law schools and big firms look upon someone who only served for a year but was honorably discharged after an injury that occurred? My time in service was cut incredibly short which was a real bummer at the time. Does this short period of service weaken my status as a veteran in the eyes of an admissions committee or perhaps in a hiring aspect later down the line?


No issue at all, how could it be? You'll just need to work hard to show lack of experience doesn't equal lack of maturity/focus/work skills.

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usn26
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby usn26 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:20 am

Wipfelder wrote:
J0100+2802 wrote:First post here,

Appreciate all the information everyone here contributes and wanted to run a quick question by you guys. How do law schools and big firms look upon someone who only served for a year but was honorably discharged after an injury that occurred? My time in service was cut incredibly short which was a real bummer at the time. Does this short period of service weaken my status as a veteran in the eyes of an admissions committee or perhaps in a hiring aspect later down the line?


No issue at all, how could it be? You'll just need to work hard to show lack of experience doesn't equal lack of maturity/focus/work skills.


It certainly won't be looked at negatively. But much of the veteran boost comes from the actual experience you get, so as Wipfelder said you'll have to sell that more than generic vet. Did you make it through boot camp/get commissioned? Without that, there is a bit of an asterisk on the veteran status, IMO.

J0100+2802
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby J0100+2802 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:44 am

Thank you for the feed back. Yes I completed boot camp, the injury occurred later on while in a selection pipeline and a number of months later was discharged.

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Bfalcon
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Bfalcon » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:55 am

J0100+2802 wrote:Thank you for the feed back. Yes I completed boot camp, the injury occurred later on while in a selection pipeline and a number of months later was discharged.


As a member of my big law firm's hiring committee, I wouldn't hold it against you. Most likely, I would give you some sort of a boost in terms of hiring preference. It would not be the same as someone with a SOF background, for example, but it would be better than someone who went K-JD.

Kirbaeus
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Kirbaeus » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:16 pm

Has anyone found the Student Law Veterans groups at your school to be beneficial?

My school currently does not have one established, I'm debating whether it would be a good organization to start up or if it's pretty vanilla with no outcomes.

Thanks.

Wipfelder
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:39 pm

Kirbaeus wrote:Has anyone found the Student Law Veterans groups at your school to be beneficial?

My school currently does not have one established, I'm debating whether it would be a good organization to start up or if it's pretty vanilla with no outcomes.

Thanks.


Sounds like a great resume bullet!

But seriously, if you are running it, it can be as useful as you want it to.




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