What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

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change12
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:23 pm

What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby change12 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:20 pm

Hello,

I am entering my first year in college, but due to AP/IB I will be entering as a sophomore with thirty credits. My ultimate ambition is to apply to Uchicago/Duke/T14 law schools right out of undergrad (don't bother telling me to "wait"). With this in mind, what do the best résumé's look like for someone getting accepted into these schools? What things do they do that set them up for success?

Input from personal experiences would be appreciated but not required! :D

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Applesauce11
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Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby Applesauce11 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:28 pm

You should have some sort of job during school and try to do at least a few internships in the summer. Honestly, softs don't really matter unless they're super unique and impressive, which I'm guessing won't be the case for you since you're coming straight through (no offense). Your GPA and LSAT are what really matter. But it's still a good idea to build up your resume with work experience to help with getting a job.

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runinthefront
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Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby runinthefront » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:44 pm

high LSAT
high GPA
-
-
-
work experience
-
-
-
-
all those extracurriculars

cavalier1138
Posts: 3523
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:54 pm

A really great resume for law school has a gap between undergrad and law school with actual work experience in it.

Other than that, not much. But as mentioned, your resume is much less important than your LSAT/GPA for getting into school. Getting a job with a firm when you're barely old enough to drink might be a separate issue, but since you've already decided that future-you isn't going to benefit from a year or two of life outside of academia, there's not much you can do about that.

change12
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Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby change12 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:01 pm

runinthefront wrote:high LSAT
high GPA
-
-
-
work experience
-
-
-
-
all those extracurriculars



Would work experience as a low level position in a firm (assistant, secretary, etc.) work well?

How important are soft factors such as school organizations/extracurricular/work experience as far as getting into T14. If one were to have a stellar GPA and LSAT but have no "softs" would they be able to go to a T14 school?

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Applesauce11
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby Applesauce11 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:22 pm

change12 wrote:
runinthefront wrote:high LSAT
high GPA
-
-
-
work experience
-
-
-
-
all those extracurriculars



Would work experience as a low level position in a firm (assistant, secretary, etc.) work well?

How important are soft factors such as school organizations/extracurricular/work experience as far as getting into T14. If one were to have a stellar GPA and LSAT but have no "softs" would they be able to go to a T14 school?


I'm a KJD. I did absolutely no extracurriculars and just worked through undergrad, both paying regular jobs and internships. I outperformed my numbers- I don't know if it was due to my work experience, but stuff like club membership just doesn't matter. Focus on getting a good GPA and LSAT. If you don't have a good enough LSAT by the time you're applying to law school, your best bet is to wait a year or two and retake.

Also, if you can get work at a firm I would take it- I know many people in law school that have been able to use firm connections to get a permanent job, or to network with other firms and get jobs that way.

change12
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby change12 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:52 pm

Applesauce11 wrote:
change12 wrote:
runinthefront wrote:high LSAT
high GPA
-
-
-
work experience
-
-
-
-
all those extracurriculars



Would work experience as a low level position in a firm (assistant, secretary, etc.) work well?

How important are soft factors such as school organizations/extracurricular/work experience as far as getting into T14. If one were to have a stellar GPA and LSAT but have no "softs" would they be able to go to a T14 school?


I'm a KJD. I did absolutely no extracurriculars and just worked through undergrad, both paying regular jobs and internships. I outperformed my numbers- I don't know if it was due to my work experience, but stuff like club membership just doesn't matter. Focus on getting a good GPA and LSAT. If you don't have a good enough LSAT by the time you're applying to law school, your best bet is to wait a year or two and retake.

Also, if you can get work at a firm I would take it- I know many people in law school that have been able to use firm connections to get a permanent job, or to network with other firms and get jobs that way.



If you don't mind me asking, what was your GPA and LSAT? What law school are you attending?

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Applesauce11
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby Applesauce11 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:02 pm

change12 wrote:
Applesauce11 wrote:
change12 wrote:
runinthefront wrote:high LSAT
high GPA
-
-
-
work experience
-
-
-
-
all those extracurriculars



Would work experience as a low level position in a firm (assistant, secretary, etc.) work well?

How important are soft factors such as school organizations/extracurricular/work experience as far as getting into T14. If one were to have a stellar GPA and LSAT but have no "softs" would they be able to go to a T14 school?


I'm a KJD. I did absolutely no extracurriculars and just worked through undergrad, both paying regular jobs and internships. I outperformed my numbers- I don't know if it was due to my work experience, but stuff like club membership just doesn't matter. Focus on getting a good GPA and LSAT. If you don't have a good enough LSAT by the time you're applying to law school, your best bet is to wait a year or two and retake.

Also, if you can get work at a firm I would take it- I know many people in law school that have been able to use firm connections to get a permanent job, or to network with other firms and get jobs that way.



If you don't mind me asking, what was your GPA and LSAT? What law school are you attending?


PM'd.

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Dcc617
Posts: 2018
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:01 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:09 pm

Don't start law school at 20. You're just going into college. Enjoy that, it only happens once. Take interesting classes, do stuff you care about, play a club sport, make some dumb decisions, make lifelong friends, etc. In a few years take the LSAT. Work for a few years, saving money and getting life experience. Then go to law school if you still want to after all the stuff you've seen and done.

Anyone who humors you planning out your professional life at age 18 does not have your best interest at heart. There's no award for doing life faster. Live a little, there's always law school out there. You have time.

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abujabal
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:32 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby abujabal » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:48 am

Dcc617 wrote:Don't start law school at 20. You're just going into college. Enjoy that, it only happens once. Take interesting classes, do stuff you care about, play a club sport, make some dumb decisions, make lifelong friends, etc. In a few years take the LSAT. Work for a few years, saving money and getting life experience. Then go to law school if you still want to after all the stuff you've seen and done.

Anyone who humors you planning out your professional life at age 18 does not have your best interest at heart. There's no award for doing life faster. Live a little, there's always law school out there. You have time.


Man I'm only 2 years out of undergrad and I'm a vastly different person than I was when graduating - to the extent where I've even been wondering whether or not I should put off law school for another 2-3 years. I really wonder what it would take to make the legal profession similar to an MBA - in that it's something that is pursued only after getting "out there" a little bit. Also, on the shallowest level, being out of school for two years is such a fantastic reset for actually wanting to work hard on things like the LSAT.

Real talk tho OP - congrats on getting into college. Enjoy your summer. Then enjoy orientation, and your first year, and the three after them.

Then worry about law school

MercW07
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:25 pm

Re: What does a competitive résumé look like for law school?

Postby MercW07 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:21 pm

Yeah Id have to agree with what most are saying here. I think its great that you're excited about law school and everything but these next four years should be the best times of your life, and if your stuck in your room every weekend worrying about a test you wont take for another 3-4 years you're really going to miss out.

The best advice I can give for someone your age is to get involved. Join as many clubs as you can, get a job, play intramural sports, join a greek organization, I don't really care, just get out and do stuff. Your GPA is incredibly important, but soft factors like those I've just mentioned will make your application really stand out. Im a firm believer that a 3.9 GPA, 175 LSAT, and a shit ton of extra curriculars/work experience looks a hell of a lot better to law schools than an application with a 4.0 GPA, 180 LSAT and absolutely nothing else, but Im sure some would argue with me on that lol




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