Firm experience prior to law school?

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baykid24

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Firm experience prior to law school?

Postby baykid24 » Tue May 23, 2017 7:41 pm

I'm considering applying next cycle and I'm wondering how helpful it is to have law firm experience when applying to law school. Since finishing undergrad I've worked as a paralegal at a medium sized immigration firm and have done IP work at a big firm. I'm from California, went to school in the Bay Area, and would like to practice in the Bay Area. I have a 3.5 LSAC GPA, have yet to take the LSAC, and am a URM male (Hispanic). Given that I haven't taken the LSAT, I'm not expecting any predictions of admission to a specific school. However, given all I've mentioned, how will have 2+ years of full-time experience at different law firms help me in admissions? I doubt it will hurt me, but will it be a good plus?

cavalier1138

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Re: Firm experience prior to law school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue May 23, 2017 7:43 pm

It will be neutral. It will only be a boost if the admissions committee is comparing you to someone with identical numbers who hasn't done anything for two years.

Focus on the LSAT.

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TakeItToTrial

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Re: Firm experience prior to law school?

Postby TakeItToTrial » Tue May 23, 2017 7:58 pm

It won't give you much of a boost during the admissions process. However, working at a firm can be valuable in that can expose you to the day-to-day reality of practicing law. You may decide law isn't for you after seeing what goes on at a firm on a daily basis, or firm experience may help you confirm that legal work is something you can see yourself doing.

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cron1834

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Re: Firm experience prior to law school?

Postby cron1834 » Wed May 24, 2017 4:11 pm

Assuming you have a decent PS and nothing weird in your LORs, law school admissions is very numbers-driven. This probably won't move the needle for admissions purposes.

However, at OCI, I think this can be a help. You can more credibly explain that you're capable of being a professional around other legal professionals, and you'll at least have *some* idea of what working at a firm is like. The people I did OCI with that had biglaw paralegal experience performed well. Several I know got hired by their former firms.

Hennessy

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Re: Firm experience prior to law school?

Postby Hennessy » Tue May 30, 2017 12:04 pm

To be honest, I think my law firm experience helped me over-perform my numbers. You never know when an adcomm may have the same practice area background as you, or if your application shows an post-LS interest in a certain field, having prior work experience in that field can highlight your commitment. I imagine it's extremely circumstantial, but I think work experience can only help you. My highest ranked school (GPA < 25th / LSAT = 50th) included in my acceptance letter a mention that they were impressed with my IP firm work experience.

However, generally it is nothing compared to the importance of the LSAT/GPA. Like the above posters said, nailing the LSAT is your number one goal.



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