Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

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i like redheads
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Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby i like redheads » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:54 pm

The argument for taking time off before law school is clear: to decide whether law school is the credited choice; to do something fun; to work and earn money; to find oneself; to study for the LSAT and score above 170 to cop $$$ at a T14 school; to gain real world experience; the list goes on!

But once a person does the aforementioned and has matriculated at a T14, does said person perform better than a K-JD?

Is there quantitative data that shows where students who take time off place? How many of them are in the top 10 percent at their T14? How many crack median at their T14?

How do K-JDs compare?

It seems like students who take time off would do better, but without solid evidence, this is a mere conjecture.

I know many of you will post qualitative evidence: "Timmy at my T14 did two years at peace corp and he graduated first in our class and copped a COA clerkship!" This is somewhat meaningful, but anecdotes do not have the force that quantitAtive data does.

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chuckbass
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:56 pm

There's no data, and anecdotally, there is no correlation.

/thread

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:02 pm

Oh Scotti. As though a lack of data should or would end the discussion.

He's right that there's no formulaic answer regarding cross-comparisons (K-JDs vs. those with W/E). HOWEVER, I think there's a case to be made that most individuals would perform better with W/E than that same person would as a K-JD.

But you want quant data which does not exist and probably wouldn't be helpful anyway given a boatload of potential confounds.

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chuckbass
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:05 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Oh Scotti. As though a lack of data should or would end the discussion.

He's right that there's no formulaic answer regarding cross-comparisons (K-JDs vs. those with W/E). HOWEVER, I think there's a case to be made that most individuals would perform better with W/E than that same person would as a K-JD.

But you want quant data which does not exist and probably wouldn't be helpful anyway given a boatload of potential confounds.

Oh I wasn't ending the discussion b/c of no data I was ending it b/c I was right that there is no worthwhile correlation.

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starry eyed
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby starry eyed » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:06 pm

zacharus85 wrote:Oh Scotti. As though a lack of data should or would end the discussion.

He's right that there's no formulaic answer regarding cross-comparisons (K-JDs vs. those with W/E). HOWEVER, I think there's a case to be made that most individuals would perform better with W/E than that same person would as a K-JD.

But you want quant data which does not exist and probably wouldn't be helpful anyway given a boatload of potential confounds.


Work switches your brains gears out of academic mode but it gives you something to talk about with interviewers, so who knows which is better.

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Clearly
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:19 pm

No.

hdunlop
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby hdunlop » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:33 pm

Depending on what you do I think it can help you read cases much more efficiently because you know more stuff which in turn lets you spend your time on things much more useful than reading and briefing cases, like understanding bll and sleep. But put this broadly, the answer is no. Asking if particular kinds of experiences help, I think so.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:47 pm

starry eyed wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Oh Scotti. As though a lack of data should or would end the discussion.

He's right that there's no formulaic answer regarding cross-comparisons (K-JDs vs. those with W/E). HOWEVER, I think there's a case to be made that most individuals would perform better with W/E than that same person would as a K-JD.

But you want quant data which does not exist and probably wouldn't be helpful anyway given a boatload of potential confounds.


Work switches your brains gears out of academic mode but it gives you something to talk about with interviewers, so who knows which is better.


lol @ being in 'academic mode' at undergrad. Essentially, if you're already a hard worker and accomplished student, I don't think W/E is going to help you. If, like me, you were a shiftless slacker, work experience gives you time to prioritize shit and get some focus.

So it doesn't PER SE lead to improved performance, nor does it guarantee it, but to say it NECESSARILY does nothing for you is disingenuous.

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transferror
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby transferror » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:54 pm

zacharus85 wrote:
starry eyed wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:Oh Scotti. As though a lack of data should or would end the discussion.

He's right that there's no formulaic answer regarding cross-comparisons (K-JDs vs. those with W/E). HOWEVER, I think there's a case to be made that most individuals would perform better with W/E than that same person would as a K-JD.

But you want quant data which does not exist and probably wouldn't be helpful anyway given a boatload of potential confounds.


Work switches your brains gears out of academic mode but it gives you something to talk about with interviewers, so who knows which is better.


lol @ being in 'academic mode' at undergrad. Essentially, if you're already a hard worker and accomplished student, I don't think W/E is going to help you. If, like me, you were a shiftless slacker, work experience gives you time to prioritize shit and get some focus.

So it doesn't PER SE lead to improved performance, nor does it guarantee it, but to say it NECESSARILY does nothing for you is disingenuous.


Agree with all but the bolded, assuming your reference to "accomplished student" means in undergrad. Taking time off to gain perspective, work experience, familiarity with your desired market, etc., generally makes you more employable. I'd much rather be median at a T14 with WE and some perspective than a K-JD outside the top 10% for the first time in my life.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:37 pm

Something making you more employable doesn't mean it makes you get better grades, though. There are a lot of great reasons to get work experience before law school but I don't think work experience automatically translates into better grades - it depends on all the things people have already mentioned.

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transferror
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby transferror » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Something making you more employable doesn't mean it makes you get better grades, though. There are a lot of great reasons to get work experience before law school but I don't think work experience automatically translates into better grades - it depends on all the things people have already mentioned.


I didn't mean to imply employable = better grades. The point of higher grades is mainly to get your desired job, and W/E can help to that end, whether or not it impacts your grades. Smart students who dominated undergrad end up at median all the time in the T14, and I was just trying to say I'd rather be in that position with a few years W/E than as a K-JD, for all the reasons mentioned so far.

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starry eyed
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby starry eyed » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:47 pm

i like redheads wrote:The argument for taking time off before law school is clear: to decide whether law school is the credited choice; to do something fun; to work and earn money; to find oneself; to study for the LSAT and score above 170 to cop $$$ at a T14 school; to gain real world experience; the list goes on!

But once a person does the aforementioned and has matriculated at a T14, does said person perform better than a K-JD?

Is there quantitative data that shows where students who take time off place? How many of them are in the top 10 percent at their T14? How many crack median at their T14?

How do K-JDs compare?

It seems like students who take time off would do better, but without solid evidence, this is a mere conjecture.

I know many of you will post qualitative evidence: "Timmy at my T14 did two years at peace corp and he graduated first in our class and copped a COA clerkship!" This is somewhat meaningful, but anecdotes do not have the force that quantitAtive data does.


never understood this whole "find oneself" thing. is that just the phrase for working in shitlaw as a paralegal and realizing you don't want to be a lawyer?

i like redheads
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby i like redheads » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:14 pm

Yes it can mean that, since the realization that the practice of law sucks is actually something most college kids don't know.

It also means doing stuff you've always wanted to do now that school is over. Attempting to start a business, write a novel, etc. are just some examples. Life is short and it is worth living when you do shit you are likely to be good at.

Doing shit to please your boomer parents or to gain respect from society is stupid.

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starry eyed
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby starry eyed » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:34 pm

i like redheads wrote:Yes it can mean that, since the realization that the practice of law sucks is actually something most college kids don't know.

It also means doing stuff you've always wanted to do now that school is over. Attempting to start a business, write a novel, etc. are just some examples. Life is short and it is worth living when you do shit you are likely to be good at.

Doing shit to please your boomer parents or to gain respect from society is stupid.


sounds like a novel plan

dabigchina
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby dabigchina » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:03 pm

i like redheads wrote:Yes it can mean that, since the realization that the practice of law sucks is actually something most college kids don't know.

It also means doing stuff you've always wanted to do now that school is over. Attempting to start a business, write a novel, etc. are just some examples. Life is short and it is worth living when you do shit you are likely to be good at.

Doing shit to please your boomer parents or to gain respect from society is stupid.


doesn't sound like you want to be a lawyer. stop wasting your time posting on law school forum and go find yourself, or whatever.

also is this a pollywolly alt?

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starry eyed
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby starry eyed » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:37 pm

dabigchina wrote:
i like redheads wrote:Yes it can mean that, since the realization that the practice of law sucks is actually something most college kids don't know.

It also means doing stuff you've always wanted to do now that school is over. Attempting to start a business, write a novel, etc. are just some examples. Life is short and it is worth living when you do shit you are likely to be good at.

Doing shit to please your boomer parents or to gain respect from society is stupid.


doesn't sound like you want to be a lawyer. stop wasting your time posting on law school forum and go find yourself, or whatever.

also is this a pollywolly alt?


based off his lack of caps lock usage, i'm guessing no on polly

hdunlop
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby hdunlop » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:03 am

You guys never fail to round down to embarrassment

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:19 am

hdunlop wrote:You guys never fail to round down to embarrassment


So much 180.

mightymouse23
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby mightymouse23 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:32 am

I can almost guarantee there's some level of correlation, but that doesn't mean causation. At my school there's a much greater % of those who took time off (work/grad school) than k-jds in the top of the class relative to their proportion in the class overall. Seems like a 2-3x greater representation.

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pancakes3
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby pancakes3 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:58 am

I find that a little hard to believe.

If you've got 250 students in a day section, about 15-20% of them are KJDs. So 50 KJDs vs 200 people who have taken time off. In the top 10%, without greater representation, there should be ~ 5 KJDs and ~20 others. With the 2-3x bias, you're saying at your school, there are only 1-3 KJDs and 22+ others at the top of the class?

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iShotFirst
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby iShotFirst » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:32 am

4 years in between w/ solid work exp but when I got to school I had a poor first semester. Its tough to get back in the mode, not necessarily "academic mode" as someone was saying above but just the realization that you have to do extra stuff on your own time. IE Making an effort to study when you are done with your work (ie classes). This was the biggest adjustment for me but if we are talking about 1 year instead of 4 then it could be a different story.

Also, if someone takes the year off knowing they are going to law school after the year is done (which I did not) then it might be different too. I thought I was done with school and ejected all study habits from my brain.

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starry eyed
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:20 am

feel free to tweak 'academic mode' to y'all's personal definitions but the fact is that an exam that you have to self-study for decides your outcome- so you probably should be in academic mode not 'i need to work and pay the bills ' mode.

how the fuck does working for a year improve your grades? some of you are just trying to justify your choice of taking off

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:42 am

starry eyed wrote:feel free to tweak 'academic mode' to y'all's personal definitions but the fact is that an exam that you have to self-study for decides your outcome- so you probably should be in academic mode not 'i need to work and pay the bills ' mode.

how the fuck does working for a year improve your grades? some of you are just trying to justify your choice of taking off


False dichotomy - it's not 'work for one year' vs. 'no work.'

More accurately, the best answer is 'go to law school when you are at your peak ability and are sure you want to go down this road.'

For some, that's right out of college. Others, after a year. Still more, many more years after that. Can't say categorically one way or the other whether it affects your grades, but I'd be very surprised if it hurt in any situation, and in most it probably helps even just a little.

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starry eyed
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:47 am

zacharus85 wrote:
starry eyed wrote:feel free to tweak 'academic mode' to y'all's personal definitions but the fact is that an exam that you have to self-study for decides your outcome- so you probably should be in academic mode not 'i need to work and pay the bills ' mode.

how the fuck does working for a year improve your grades? some of you are just trying to justify your choice of taking off


False dichotomy - it's not 'work for one year' vs. 'no work.'

More accurately, the best answer is 'go to law school when you are at your peak ability and are sure you want to go down this road.'

For some, that's right out of college. Others, after a year. Still more, many more years after that. Can't say categorically one way or the other whether it affects your grades, but I'd be very surprised if it hurt in any situation, and in most it probably helps even just a little.


my sister has been out of school for 7 years, worked, and is noticeably dumber now. completely unhelpful anecdote but working for longer than a year seems like it would make you even rustier.

the only argument that can be made for it improving your grades is if you were burnt out by school, took a year break, realize work sucks, then got back interested in school

Moneytrees
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Re: Does taking time off before law school lead to better grades

Postby Moneytrees » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:52 am

For me, working full time has taught me to prioritize things and use my spare time in a much more effective way. I think taking the LSAT multiple times also helped with that though. I feel much better prepared for law school now, but have no idea if that will translate into good grades or not.




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