Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

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NDIrish2012
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Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby NDIrish2012 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:26 pm

Has anyone noticed that the average age of entering law students at the top schools is 24 or higher with between 75% and 80% of the entering students having more than 1 to 2 years work experience before entering? This looks like a BIG factor in admission decisions to me... what do you think?

thederangedwang
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:31 pm

BIG? No

A Factor? Yes

Main reason why age is 24? Because most undergrads don't want to or can't go to law school straight out.

NDIrish2012
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby NDIrish2012 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:44 pm

Why is it that 75% to 80% of the people accepted at top law schools have been out of undergrad for 1-2 years or more, yet only 20% of those accepted are coming right out of undergrad, with no time off. Surely, for the top schools (t14), there are hundreds of otherwise well qualified applicants coming right out of undergrad- i.e. enough to fill the class. YET the schools are selectively choosing to accept only a small number of those candidates, while they actively select a far greater percentage of qualified students from those who have been out of school and working for 1 or 2 years +.

thederangedwang
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:47 pm

I answered your question already. No matter how "many" undergrad applicants there are for law schools, there are always more applicants that have been out of undergrad for a few years at least.

Work is a plus for law school admissions, but it isn't a big factor (i'm assuming regular work of course, not things such as military, fellowships, etc).

NDIrish2012
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby NDIrish2012 » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:59 pm

THAT there are more applicants with work experience is understood and given. The question that falls from this fact is two-fold:

1) is there a direct correlation between the percentage of those with work experience in the applicant pool compared to those who in the accepted pool who have work experience? (E.G. - if 75% of those accepted had work experience, does that mean that 75% of those applying had work experience?)

2) if this is true, how do you know it?

thederangedwang
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:03 am

NDIrish2012 wrote:THAT there are more applicants with work experience is understood and given. The question that falls from this fact is two-fold:

1) is there a direct correlation between the percentage of those with work experience in the applicant pool compared to those who in the accepted pool who have work experience? (E.G. - if 75% of those accepted had work experience, does that mean that 75% of those applying had work experience?)

2) if this is true, how do you know it?


Impossible to know and impossible to answer your question given the amount of proof you are demanding.

All I can tell you is this, work experience is better than none, but it is not a BIG factor in decisions. And you are looking into this matter far too seriously.

NDIrish2012
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby NDIrish2012 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:10 am

Well 75%-80% of the admitted students to the top law schools have had 1 to 2 years- or more- of work experience post graduation. This seems like an highly important characteristic common to accepted students- too big to be treated dismissively or lightly. Granted, we cannot know the percentage of applicants with work experience applying to these schools... but do you honestly suppose that it is as high as 75%-80%, which it would have to be to have a direct correspondence to the acceptance percentages?

thederangedwang
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:13 am

NDIrish2012 wrote:Well 75%-80% of the admitted students to the top law schools have had 1 to 2 years- or more- of work experience post graduation. This seems like an highly important characteristic common to accepted students- too big to be treated dismissively or lightly. Granted, we cannot know the percentage of applicants with work experience applying to these schools... but do you honestly suppose that it is as high as 75%-80%, which it would have to be to have a direct correspondence to the acceptance percentages?

Yes of course. It can easily be that high...in fact, I would argue that undergrads are over represented in terms of proportion

Mudhop
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby Mudhop » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:38 am

...but do you honestly suppose that it is as high as 75%-80%, which it would have to be to have a direct correspondence to the acceptance percentages?

At a HLS admissions forum she held at my UG back in October, I asked KB about this trend, and she said that the high percentage of students in the HLS class of 2014 with work experience was not representative of the overall applicant pool, suggesting that at least HLS values and seeks out work experience. There's no real way to know how large the discrepancy is (or if other adcomms look at this the same way), but her response was that there is not a direct correspondence of the kind you're wondering about.

I doubt it's a huge factor though.

HTH.

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kalvano
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:08 am

Hey, did you guys hear that 75%-80% of the students admitted to the top law schools have 1-2 years of post-grad work expericence?

RainyDayPlay
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby RainyDayPlay » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:03 am

I think that you will just start to make your head hurt if you examine this too much. There are far too many confounding variables to just decide how important work experience is in the admissions process (not to mention that you won't find the data you want).
Have you ever considered that people with work experience also had more time to study for the LSAT? Maybe people with a few years of work experience tend to be better writers and thus have better personal statements? It might even be the case that more UG students don't matriculate because they haven't saved up any money like someone with work experience has.
Just my two cents, but I feel like we spend almost too much time trying to 'game' the admissions. I would never recommend getting a job for a few years just to give you a tiny edge in admissions. Just work on the parts of your app that you can improve.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby fundamentallybroken » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:08 am

kalvano wrote:Hey, did you guys hear that 75%-80% of the students admitted to the top law schools have 1-2 years of post-grad work expericence?


This is what I heard, though I have no idea where...

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Gail
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby Gail » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:08 pm

thederangedwang is right that it isn't a big factor. The reason that you see 75-80% is exactly what he said. Most undergrads can't and don't even want to go to law school.


I would add that your brain still isn't fully equipped for the LSAT while in your junior year of college. You may be surprised how much wisdom plays a roll in your ability to think logically, or at least to take a massive test without freaking out.



Actually, I do think that work experience is a big factor, not in admissions, but in you. The real world is stressful, scary, unstructured. The real world will demand that you act like an adult. School is easy. Structures everywhere. Instant feedback. Life will never be as friendly as a classroom.

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kalvano
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby kalvano » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:21 pm

Work experience is helpful in trying to secure employment, however.

turkey
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby turkey » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:31 pm

1-2 years work experience? Who gives a fuck.

10+ years experience where some people have started companies, moved up in public service positions, etc, etc? Yes - that plays a fairly significant role in admissions to schools in general.

However, 1-2 years playing a role is laughable.

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Gail
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby Gail » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:18 pm

turkey wrote:1-2 years work experience? Who gives a fuck.

10+ years experience where some people have started companies, moved up in public service positions, etc, etc? Yes - that plays a fairly significant role in admissions to schools in general.

However, 1-2 years playing a role is laughable.


I don't think its laughable. Good luck getting into Northwestern without it!


But I do think that 10 years could have a significant impact too. So points for that.

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BiglawOrBust
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby BiglawOrBust » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:24 pm

Mudhop wrote:
...but do you honestly suppose that it is as high as 75%-80%, which it would have to be to have a direct correspondence to the acceptance percentages?

At a HLS admissions forum she held at my UG back in October, I asked KB about this trend, and she said that the high percentage of students in the HLS class of 2014 with work experience was not representative of the overall applicant pool, suggesting that at least HLS values and seeks out work experience. There's no real way to know how large the discrepancy is (or if other adcomms look at this the same way), but her response was that there is not a direct correspondence of the kind you're wondering about.

I doubt it's a huge factor though.

HTH.


Good God, man. Don't get him started again!

turkey
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby turkey » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:30 pm

Gail wrote:
turkey wrote:1-2 years work experience? Who gives a fuck.

10+ years experience where some people have started companies, moved up in public service positions, etc, etc? Yes - that plays a fairly significant role in admissions to schools in general.

However, 1-2 years playing a role is laughable.


I don't think its laughable. Good luck getting into Northwestern without it!


But I do think that 10 years could have a significant impact too. So points for that.

Fair enough.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby cloudhidden » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:52 pm

kalvano wrote:Work experience is helpful in trying to secure employment, however.


How much so? And of any of the FT variety? If this is a big factor, it doesn't nearly get emphasized enough on here. Assuming, of course, that you are talking about finding entry-level legal jobs after law school.

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kalvano
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:00 pm

cloudhidden wrote:
kalvano wrote:Work experience is helpful in trying to secure employment, however.


How much so? And of any of the FT variety? If this is a big factor, it doesn't nearly get emphasized enough on here. Assuming, of course, that you are talking about finding entry-level legal jobs after law school.


I'm talking about finding both an SA position and post-grad employment. It's not going to overcome bad grades or anything, but real work experience in the really real world will definitely make you more attractive to potential employers. It shows that you can function in a corporate environment, and can get along with people, etc. It comes more into play with smaller and mid-sized firms, because then they can focus on teaching you how to be a lawyer and not how the real world functions.

Again, it's not going to overcome poor grades or some other indicator that the employer is looking for. It will, however, make them case a more favorable eye over your application, and if you're borderline, definitely help push you over the edge.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby cloudhidden » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:26 pm

What if we are talking FT experience but not in a corporate setting?

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kalvano
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Re: Post-Graduation Work Experience as a Factor In Admissions

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Any real work experience is helpful, I think. I don't mean $8/hr working for Hot Topic for a summer, but basically anything that could be a career.




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