Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

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MissMusicLaw

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Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby MissMusicLaw » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:34 am

Hello lovely people!
Thank you for taking the time to click on this question.

I graduated HS and delayed my collegiate education for 2 unplanned gap years because I had to earn/save money in order to attend college. I worked for two years as an educational after school program facilitator and counselor for my city’s elementary and middle school system (one of the highest nationally ranked school systems in the country if that contributes to anything). I also (believe it or not) worked as a professional actress (TV/Film).

I am currently a junior in college and I was fortunate enough to get selected during my freshman year to be a member of a clinical program as a student Pro Bono legal adviser at a top 3 Ivy League Law School. Through this program I’m an undergrad on a team with several law students and we represent national clients (professor supervised), in intellectual property & entertainment law matters: copyrights, contract draft/review, patents, trademarks, royalties, publishing etc. I’ve been doing this for my entire time at college and plan on doing so until I graduate.

All that said, do you think this counts as adequate work and Pro Bono experience for me to apply to law school right after I graduate college? I’d prefer not to take another gap year when I graduate (since I’ve been there! Lol). During my gap years I had major character development, overcame challenges and really learned what focus and hard work is. Even though it was unplanned I don’t regret it because as a result I’m doing well in college. (I’ll express this in my personal statement). I do plan on hopefully getting a summer internship in the entertainment law field before I graduate; but please let me know your thoughts even without the internship.

Thank you for answering my question in a helpful way and many thanks to each of you who contribute to the forum; the content is helpful.

nylon_law

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby nylon_law » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:29 pm

Hi. You do not need work experience to apply to law school. It is more of a requirement for an MBA. However, if you submatriculate at a business school, like Wharton, and earn an MBA in conjunction with your undergraduate degree you do not need the suggested work experience. I hope this helps.

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rokiv

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby rokiv » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:49 pm

There are plenty of people who do not take time off between undergrad and law school, as long as you have a solid GPA and LSAT score you will have same/similar opportunities.

You seem to have an interesting story. Although from the sound of it, I'm not sure you have the type of softs (aside from maybe the TV/Film Acting) that will make up for a poor GPA or poor LSAT. Being involved on campus and in law related activities is a good thing because it helps demonstrate interest, but its not going to turn heads. Having said that, your work experience and other life skills you gained during that time will help you succeed during law school and the job hunt.

But, as I'm sure you've seen all over TLS, your GPA and LSAT are the top priorities if you want to go to law school. The other stuff will just be icing on the cake.

MissMusicLaw

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby MissMusicLaw » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:26 am

Thank you for your answer! This just scratches the surface of my resume ( ; I did however want to call attention to the “work experience” that I had, as I heard law schools like to see that in their applicants. I’ll make sure that my application reflects all of the accomplishments that reflect my academic journey! Thanks again for your feedback.

rokiv wrote:There are plenty of people who do not take time off between undergrad and law school, as long as you have a solid GPA and LSAT score you will have same/similar opportunities.

You seem to have an interesting story. Although from the sound of it, I'm not sure you have the type of softs (aside from maybe the TV/Film Acting) that will make up for a poor GPA or poor LSAT. Being involved on campus and in law related activities is a good thing because it helps demonstrate interest, but its not going to turn heads. Having said that, your work experience and other life skills you gained during that time will help you succeed during law school and the job hunt.

But, as I'm sure you've seen all over TLS, your GPA and LSAT are the top priorities if you want to go to law school. The other stuff will just be icing on the cake.

Synapse2018

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby Synapse2018 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:15 am

Work hard on your GPA and LSAT. Everything else is trivial and won't affect your application in any meaningful way unless you are a borderline candidate or a URM that's below the 25th percentile for the schools you are applying to.

The last thing you want to do is apologize for taking 2 years off before undergraduate. That should be a strength in your application not a weakness. So, don't act like it is. There are many applicants who went to school later in life (i'm taking late 20's/30's/40's) that get accepted. Like others have said, LSAT and GPA are the biggest factors - keep your focus on those.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby totesTheGoat » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:20 pm

MissMusicLaw wrote:All that said, do you think this counts as adequate work and Pro Bono experience for me to apply to law school right after I graduate college? I’d prefer not to take another gap year when I graduate (since I’ve been there! Lol). During my gap years I had major character development, overcame challenges and really learned what focus and hard work is.


I usually recommend people get some work experience before law school. Mainly for the reasons you mention above. You learn how to live in the real world, and that experience makes you better at law school and much better of a lawyer right out of the gate. A couple years is plenty for that and will stick out above and beyond the K-JDs that will be your classmates.


I do plan on hopefully getting a summer internship in the entertainment law field before I graduate; but please let me know your thoughts even without the internship.


Get ready for a tough fight to break into the entertainment law field. It is a small, insular practice and hard to get a toe in the door. Very interesting stuff, though. Good luck!

MissMusicLaw

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby MissMusicLaw » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:47 pm

Very cool! Thanks so much for your answer. Yes I agree, my unique path to college is a strength. I’ll continue to improve my GPA and LSAT score.


Synapse2018 wrote:Work hard on your GPA and LSAT. Everything else is trivial and won't affect your application in any meaningful way unless you are a borderline candidate or a URM that's below the 25th percentile for the schools you are applying to.

The last thing you want to do is apologize for taking 2 years off before undergraduate. That should be a strength in your application not a weakness. So, don't act like it is. There are many applicants who went to school later in life (i'm taking late 20's/30's/40's) that get accepted. Like others have said, LSAT and GPA are the biggest factors - keep your focus on those.

MissMusicLaw

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Re: Does working during 2 gap years between HS and college count as work experience?

Postby MissMusicLaw » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:51 pm

I appreciate your feedback! Thank you for taking the time to answer!


totesTheGoat wrote:
MissMusicLaw wrote:All that said, do you think this counts as adequate work and Pro Bono experience for me to apply to law school right after I graduate college? I’d prefer not to take another gap year when I graduate (since I’ve been there! Lol). During my gap years I had major character development, overcame challenges and really learned what focus and hard work is.


I usually recommend people get some work experience before law school. Mainly for the reasons you mention above. You learn how to live in the real world, and that experience makes you better at law school and much better of a lawyer right out of the gate. A couple years is plenty for that and will stick out above and beyond the K-JDs that will be your classmates.


I do plan on hopefully getting a summer internship in the entertainment law field before I graduate; but please let me know your thoughts even without the internship.


Get ready for a tough fight to break into the entertainment law field. It is a small, insular practice and hard to get a toe in the door. Very interesting stuff, though. Good luck!



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