americorps as work experience

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whereskyle
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americorps as work experience

Postby whereskyle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:53 am

Hey all, I'm thinking about taking time off and retaking instead of taking sticker at a t14 this cycle. For my year off, I'm considering americorps, and I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the wisdom of that idea. For instance, I think public service oriented schools like Yale and NYU will value it, but I'm wondering if Northwestern will consider it a tacky, hippie thing in place of more business-oriented work experience. Any thoughts on this? Is americorps an all around thumbs up regardless of the school?

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Robbin Blue
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby Robbin Blue » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:37 pm

General TLS idea of Americorps is that it's better than just going K-JD, but not as good as actual work experience. I think NU wouldn't really consider it as professional experience, since they normally expect at least two years of experience? But yeah, taking a year off, especially to study and retake, is never a bad idea.

062914123
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby 062914123 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:25 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

whereskyle
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby whereskyle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:47 pm

Further detail: I've worked for two years as a paralegal and am moving cross-country to remain with my SO in a place I've always wanted to live. I am very socially minded, and I think I would like the bump with regard to my commitment to PI. I'm getting the idea that transferring from paralegal work to a year with americorps might be considered a bit of a regression... is this so?

062914123
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby 062914123 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:52 pm

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howlery
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby howlery » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:59 pm

whereskyle wrote:Further detail: I've worked for two years as a paralegal and am moving cross-country to remain with my SO in a place I've always wanted to live. I am very socially minded, and I think I would like the bump with regard to my commitment to PI. I'm getting the idea that transferring from paralegal work to a year with americorps might be considered a bit of a regression... is this so?


But if OP is committed to PI wouldn't it help to do americorps or a similar program? I'm always reading about how PI and gov employers look for resumes that "scream" public service. Then again, most people give up on PI during law school so it might not be worth the loss of income.

If you're able to live comfortably with the help of your SO I'd do it just for the experience and having a PI focused talking point for interviews.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby Elston Gunn » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:09 pm

whereskyle wrote:Further detail: I've worked for two years as a paralegal and am moving cross-country to remain with my SO in a place I've always wanted to live. I am very socially minded, and I think I would like the bump with regard to my commitment to PI. I'm getting the idea that transferring from paralegal work to a year with americorps might be considered a bit of a regression... is this so?

Law schools won't care, for the most part. You might get a better PS out of doing service work than being a paralegal, and might be more convincing if you talk about a PI bent. It'll be minor though, especially compared to improving your LSAT.
If you're serious about PI, then I think Americorps a great idea, especially if you're talking something like Legal Aid or PD. It will help show commitment and give an idea of whether you actually want to provide direct services to poor people or not. I also don't think a firm would be bothered by it--it's easy enough to say that you thought you might like doing direct services PI work, but tried it out and found that it wasn't for you and were happier in the private sector. It wouldn't be a bump for them over being a paralegal, I'm sure, but it won't hurt you.
The bottom line is you should do Americorps if you want to do Americorps and think it's worth the lower salary. It probably won't make a big difference in your career unless you're already the kind of person who genuinely wants to do Americorps for its intrinsic value to you.

062914123
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby 062914123 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:24 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

whereskyle
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby whereskyle » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:16 pm

hey, thanks a lot for the thoughts, all. I'm really not worried about money. I've been living meagerly for a while, and I'm willing to do so through LS. I have a disjunction now of being interested in PI, but I've never done it as a full-time jerb, so you all helped me turn a personal interest into a good interview talking point whether I end up digging it or not. I appreciate it very much.

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DougieFresh
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby DougieFresh » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:21 pm

You can most likely get more meaningful experience as a volunteer or intern than you would through Americorps. It may make more sense to continue working as a paralegal and volunteer with legal foundations, children's advocacy group, fair housing, things like that, that are more related to what you want to do and you can talk about passionately in interviews. Building hiking trails in the woods is cool if you want to someday have a career as a park ranger... :wink:

ddoodle
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby ddoodle » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:08 pm

DougieFresh wrote:You can most likely get more meaningful experience as a volunteer or intern than you would through Americorps. It may make more sense to continue working as a paralegal and volunteer with legal foundations, children's advocacy group, fair housing, things like that, that are more related to what you want to do and you can talk about passionately in interviews. Building hiking trails in the woods is cool if you want to someday have a career as a park ranger... :wink:


What? You can work with legal foundations, children's advocacy group, fair housing, etc. through AmeriCorps. A lot of times it just provides funding to non-profits to hire you for entry level work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americorps ... d_National

throw-away-soon
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby throw-away-soon » Sat May 04, 2013 12:07 am

AmeriCorps isn't a scam, but it can be a complete joke/scam. Hasn't helped me land a single, good job. Basically it's just a means for companies/non profits/organizations to hire people and pay them half of the min wage, because AmeriCorps pays 1/2, placement org the other 1/2. Bunch of ignorant and naive hipsters thinking they're changing the world, very politically biased organization as a whole that rarely respects people who aren't supportive of current liberal ideas and policies. They bring in countless diversity speakers, yet they demean people with different policy views or who favor efficiency and rational thought over idealistic, wasteful practices. The health insurance they offer is terrible, you're better off getting Medicaid. You have to work closer to 45-47 hours a week for FT, not the 37.5-40 they tell you in the interview. You do qualify for food stamps, which you can sell if you desperately need money. And if you move to an expensive city, good luck trying to support yourself, go out, and not have to work a 2nd PT job. I had to work 2 side jobs just to get by, and their shitty insurance screwed with my medical coverage, then I had to switch insurance providers just so I could afford to see my doctors and get my medications. I loved working with the clients/people we provided service to, but the managers were incompetent and the co workers were pretty much the typical liberal arts college, pretends to be a hippy/open minded but really just an arrogant and close minded, and just kind of didn't get how the world actually worked.

I wish I would've just taken an internship for a non profit and worked a regular job, or worked for a non profit directly. It's nice in that you can get a job with AmeriCorps with no real professional experience, but for typical positions you don't really gain any skills that make your resume stand out, or catch the eye of major non profits. Honestly getting an internship with the county's human services department or something like that is much better for your resume. The AmeriCorps thing has helped somewhat in my job search, but it didn't stand out any more than the volunteer work and other internships I've had. You're better off volunteering for an organization you love, work a job that actually pays a liveable wage. But if you just want something temporary that is in the non profit field, it's not the worst option. Just a fair warning that AmeriCorps sells their program as having a much greater impact on the community as it actually does. They usually bring way too many people to extra hours events, meaning there isn't anything to do. The place I worked at my entire service session was overstaffed, and the program I worked for was an absolute failure.

If you want to meet college aged hipsters who are very idealistic and extremely naive, but love the idea of being best friends with their fellow AmeriCorps members, and would like spending an entire week of orientation listening to diversity speakers and playing ice breakers, all while making barely enough to pay your bills (think $800-$900 a month) and having to average more than 40 hours a week, without the possibility of ever getting any overtime, then maybe you'll like it. Keep in mind it isn't really resume gold in most places, because my city at least realizes that AmeriCorps is a joke. But if you can manage to get by on that salary, and want something short term that's in a new city, or you know you'd love the organization you'd be placed with, you'll survive. Honestly employers are more impressed with where I've volunteered than the AmeriCorps piece.

I gave the whole experience a D+. They didn't accommodate my disability at all, they basically said tough shit suck it up, all the while bringing in speakers preaching tolerance. Most hypocritical organization I ever worked for.

I do want to emphasize I loved the people I served. People I helped still email me, and they've kept in touch with me. I loved the parts when I was in communities working with clients and youth to help service their needs and direct them to resources, and provide education. That's what got me through all the other bullshit.

09042014
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby 09042014 » Sat May 04, 2013 12:18 am

Isn't AmeriCorps for people even the Marines won't accept?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: americorps as work experience

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat May 04, 2013 8:14 am

just volunteer or intern

what you need to do is focus on that LSAT




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