Pre-application Gap Year

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AndDontCallMeShirley
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Pre-application Gap Year

Postby AndDontCallMeShirley » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:24 pm

I'm graduating college this year and will be taking a gap year before applying to law school. I have two options for the gap year: (1) a prestigious political internship... or (2) a not-so-prestigious job with Americorps. I'm having a lot of trouble choosing between them.

(1) is a right-leaning (conservative/libertarian) political internship that is pretty competitive/prestigious (10% acceptance rate, with most applicants having college degrees.) Knowing that academia (and more specifically, legal academia) is pretty liberal, I'm worried that having this internship as a soft would hurt my chances of admission at a number of schools. And if I do the internship and don't put it on my transcript, it will look like I did nothing for an entire year... which wouldn't be good, either.

(2) is an Americorps job. It's not particularly competitive to get in (many of the people involved in the program don't even have college degrees), nor is it prestigious. But it's for a good (and apolitical) cause. It involves working in education with at-risk youth and improving learning outcomes in high-need communities.

Would the politically conservative aspect of (1) significantly hurt my chances of getting admitted into T14 law schools, as I suspect? (If it matters, I have a 3.7 GPA and, based on practice exams, will probably get 167-170 on the LSAT. And I'm not a URM.) I would prefer (1) over (2) when I consider them at face value, but if (1) negatively impacts my chances of law school admission, I'd obviously just stick to (2).

Thanks, guys! I appreciate any help you can give me! :) (And please don't make this into a political debate, because that sort of thing isn't helpful.)

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Ramius
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby Ramius » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:33 pm

You want (1), go for it. It won't hurt admissions chances and it likely won't really help either.

Trout et al
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby Trout et al » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:53 pm

Schools like people from different backgrounds so I doubt it would hurt you for admissions purposes to take (1).

I would pick the job that you think will help you get job skills/ experiences that you can try to talk about in legal interviews (project management, client-facing experiences, attention to detail, etc.)

phireblast
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby phireblast » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:01 pm

Take 1 if that's what you want. Plus, it sounds better anyways, you can make some solid connections while there.
It's pretty sad the political conditions in our country have gotten to the point where people are scared of being associated with a historically American ideology. Which side is exerting suppression on which side again?

It's most likely an unwarranted fear. I don't think admissions would launch a political vendetta against an applicant. Besides, look at the bigger picture. If a school denies you on what your politics might be, do you really want to be going there?

Win/win for you in my worthless opinion.

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AndDontCallMeShirley
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby AndDontCallMeShirley » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:01 pm

Thanks, guys!

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phillywc
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby phillywc » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:12 pm

Take 1 like the above posters said if you would prefer it, but I would recommenced caution in constructing your application. I would try to make the rest of my application as apolitical as possible, although that is probably a good idea in general.

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patogordo
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby patogordo » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:14 pm

man you have been watching way too much fox news

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AndDontCallMeShirley
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby AndDontCallMeShirley » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:02 pm

patogordo wrote:man you have been watching way too much fox news


???

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patogordo
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby patogordo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:03 pm

AndDontCallMeShirley wrote:
patogordo wrote:man you have been watching way too much fox news


???

if you are even remotely worried about this

03152016
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby 03152016 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:03 pm

Depends on how conservative the organization is; Cato shaves 5 points off of your LSAT, Tea Party Works is an auto-reject and the DNC department that vets all law school applicants puts you on their blacklist.

In all seriousness, you have nothing to worry about. If such policies were in place, we would be able to see it from the data and there would be an uproar. And it's not in the best interests of the school to turn down qualified conservatives with good numbers just to make a political point.

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AndDontCallMeShirley
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby AndDontCallMeShirley » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:20 pm

Max324 wrote:Depends on how conservative the organization is; Cato shaves 5 points off of your LSAT, Tea Party Works is an auto-reject and the DNC department that vets all law school applicants puts you on their blacklist.

In all seriousness, you have nothing to worry about. If such policies were in place, we would be able to see it from the data and there would be an uproar. And it's not in the best interests of the school to turn down qualified conservatives with good numbers just to make a political point.


Thank you! :D

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MoMettaMonk
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby MoMettaMonk » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:13 pm

Generally speaking, law schools like to construct diverse classes. That includes political diversity. Yale has gone on record as saying that they've sent more informational packets to red states in an attempt to attract more conservative applicants. Now, all of this obviously comes under the caveat that if what you're doing is wildly out in left (right?) field and could be construed as some type of hate or extremist group, then maybe you should be wary. But if it's just a normal political internship then it would likely have nothing but a neutral to positive effect on your cycle.

theycallmefoes
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby theycallmefoes » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:51 pm

As a general rule, I would be slightly more wary about the role of politics than the previous posters - not in the sense that the school has some sort of vendetta, but more on the off-chance that the person reviewing your file has a strong personal reaction. That being said, I think that would come into play, however unlikely it may be, if the internship were for a highly controversial figure/group. In your case, however, your use of the words "right-leaning," as well as the fact that it is a relatively prestigious internship, suggest to me that this is not the case, so I really would not worry about it if I were you.

In my opinion, the only factor worth considering, aside from personal preference for what to do with your time, is how it relates to your future career ambitions -specifically, what type of law do you plan to pursue? For example, a person planning to do public interest law - and planning to make that the central/organizing theme of his/her application - could definitely gain some mileage from the second option. On the other hand, if the political internship would somehow help you gain some finance/business experience (which is possible, depending on the type of political internship), you could spin that in a way that shows your interest in business law, or whatever other area in which you're interested, depending on your duties/responsibilities in the internship.

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Cal Trask
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Re: Pre-application Gap Year

Postby Cal Trask » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:00 pm

Better question, what do you plan to do after law school? What are your long-term goals? Are you more interested in policy or PI work? Neither is the end-all of resume builders, but if you're looking at those sort of positions for afterwards then you may be able to better leverage that in an application.




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