Importance of pre-law resume?

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Anonymous User
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Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2010 8:13 pm

I'm a 0L. Been out of college for a few years. I have to say I have a pretty crappy resume overall (unemployed right now for example). The jobs I've had are pretty short-lived and not that impressive. However, I do have more than a year until law school.

So I'm wondering, if I do the right things in law school, how much will my lousy pre-law resume affect job prospects. How long will employers look back? Thanks

findlayswimmer28
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby findlayswimmer28 » Tue May 04, 2010 8:26 pm

A legal resume is completely different than a standard resume. A legal resume is like your best hits list. It's all about painting you in the best light possible on a single page. So unless you have unique or significant professional work experience or you have legal experience, you really shouldn't include past employment.

Anonymous User
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2010 9:28 pm

well that sounds like good news. So they won't know/care that I had a year gap, or only held this one job for two months before law school?

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Tue May 04, 2010 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:well that sounds like good news. So they won't know/care that I had a year gap, or only held this one job for two months before law school?


It'll come up in some interviews. Everyone has baggage, everyone has accolades. It won't be a game changer.

Action Jackson
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 10:58 pm

I'd go a step farther and say ITE you should really, really, really, really, really, really try and get some work experience that will distinguish you from your classmates. Think about what you want to do as a lawyer, then get some kick ass experience that would be valuable to a lawyer in that field (not necessary legal experience). For example, if you want to do corporate law work in business/finance. If you want to do tax law work with CPAs. If you want to do health care law get into the health care industry.

I know a guy that got his job SOLELY based on his pre-law work experience in the environmental area. As in, his interviewers were completely uninterested in any of his law school work, and only talked about his pre-law work.

Do the right pre-law work and it'll pay for itself 10x over down the road.

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:22 pm

Action Jackson wrote:I'd go a step farther and say ITE you should really, really, really, really, really, really try and get some work experience that will distinguish you from your classmates. Think about what you want to do as a lawyer, then get some kick ass experience that would be valuable to a lawyer in that field (not necessary legal experience). For example, if you want to do corporate law work in business/finance. If you want to do tax law work with CPAs. If you want to do health care law get into the health care industry.

I know a guy that got his job SOLELY based on his pre-law work experience in the environmental area. As in, his interviewers were completely uninterested in any of his law school work, and only talked about his pre-law work.

Do the right pre-law work and it'll pay for itself 10x over down the road.


Horrible advice. Law school grades + school will get you a legal job. Pre-law experience might, in some respects, mitigate either of those prior factors. The plural of anecdote is not statistic.

Danteshek
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 11:29 pm

Work experience helped me get hired at the SEC this summer. If I go to a firm with a securities practice, I would think they would be interested in my experience working in financial firms, my understanding of complex financial instruments, and my network of contacts in the securities industry.

But yeah, none of that matters one iota.

Action Jackson
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 11:34 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Action Jackson wrote:I'd go a step farther and say ITE you should really, really, really, really, really, really try and get some work experience that will distinguish you from your classmates. Think about what you want to do as a lawyer, then get some kick ass experience that would be valuable to a lawyer in that field (not necessary legal experience). For example, if you want to do corporate law work in business/finance. If you want to do tax law work with CPAs. If you want to do health care law get into the health care industry.

I know a guy that got his job SOLELY based on his pre-law work experience in the environmental area. As in, his interviewers were completely uninterested in any of his law school work, and only talked about his pre-law work.

Do the right pre-law work and it'll pay for itself 10x over down the road.


Horrible advice. Law school grades + school will get you a legal job. Pre-law experience might, in some respects, mitigate either of those prior factors. The plural of anecdote is not statistic.

Correction: Law school grades + school MIGHT get you a legal job. Remember that you're competing for jobs against your classmates. Sure, if you're ranked 1st in your class, no problem, but if you're not, what will separate you from some guy with the same GPA at the same school with a brighter smile and a better haircut? Pre-law work experience is another weapon in your arsenal, and while that one guy was an extreme, lots of people use their pre-law work experience to prop themselves up and get better job opportunities than their classmates.

Again, spectacular grades will open doors for you regardless of pre-law work, but that's will or will not happen regardless of pre-law work, so why not load up before you get to LS? Especially ITE.

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:35 pm

Danteshek wrote:Work experience helped me get hired at the SEC this summer. If I go to a firm with a securities practice, I would think they would be interested in my experience working in financial firms, my understanding of complex financial instruments, and my network of contacts in the securities industry.

But yeah, none of that matters one iota.


Work experience will help, but if you don't get good grades from a good school you're still SoL.

I'm not saying work experience is irrelevant, I'm not saying it's not worthwhile if you have valid reasons for doing it. But it won't save your ass from the curve, and beating the curve will save your ass from a lack of work experience.

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:37 pm

Action Jackson wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
Action Jackson wrote:I'd go a step farther and say ITE you should really, really, really, really, really, really try and get some work experience that will distinguish you from your classmates. Think about what you want to do as a lawyer, then get some kick ass experience that would be valuable to a lawyer in that field (not necessary legal experience). For example, if you want to do corporate law work in business/finance. If you want to do tax law work with CPAs. If you want to do health care law get into the health care industry.

I know a guy that got his job SOLELY based on his pre-law work experience in the environmental area. As in, his interviewers were completely uninterested in any of his law school work, and only talked about his pre-law work.

Do the right pre-law work and it'll pay for itself 10x over down the road.


Horrible advice. Law school grades + school will get you a legal job. Pre-law experience might, in some respects, mitigate either of those prior factors. The plural of anecdote is not statistic.

Correction: Law school grades + school MIGHT get you a legal job. Remember that you're competing for jobs against your classmates. Sure, if you're ranked 1st in your class, no problem, but if you're not, what will separate you from some guy with the same GPA at the same school with a brighter smile and a better haircut? Pre-law work experience is another weapon in your arsenal, and while that one guy was an extreme, lots of people use their pre-law work experience to prop themselves up and get better job opportunities than their classmates.

Again, spectacular grades will open doors for you regardless of pre-law work, but that's will or will not happen regardless of pre-law work, so why not load up before you get to LS? Especially ITE.


Because if you want to be a lawyer, not going to law school is a piss-poor way to increase your odds of becoming a lawyer?

If you want to do __________, do ___________. If you want to go to law school, go to law school. Working a job for 1-2 years to boost your chances of getting a legal job is the most asinine thing I've ever heard of.

Maybe somebody doesn't want to go to law school straight away, isn't sure LS is what they want, etc. There are a zillion reasons to work between UG and LS, but to counsel people go out and get jobs is to ignore the fact that plenty of people with no WE do just fine (at least coming out of decent schools).

Action Jackson
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 11:47 pm

disco_barred wrote:Because if you want to be a lawyer, not going to law school is a piss-poor way to increase your odds of becoming a lawyer?

If you want to do __________, do ___________. If you want to go to law school, go to law school. Working a job for 1-2 years to boost your chances of getting a legal job is the most asinine thing I've ever heard of.

Maybe somebody doesn't want to go to law school straight away, isn't sure LS is what they want, etc. There are a zillion reasons to work between UG and LS, but to counsel people go out and get jobs is to ignore the fact that plenty of people with no WE do just fine (at least coming out of decent schools).

Weird. You've been hitting some home run posts over the last week or so, and now you're off the deep end. Don't know if you're just trying to hard or what... shrug.

Anyway, I didn't say "don't ever go to law school." I told OP to focus on the area of law he wants to work in and add to his resume in a way that makes him more valuable candidate for a position in that field. It's about taking a long-term view of ones career.

Yes, yes, yes, there are people that do fine straight out of UG. I never said anything to remotely contradict that. And yes, yes, yes, awesome law school grades from an awesome law school = WIN. But that's either going to happen or it won't. OP will either be top 5% at HYS or he won't. What he does before law school won't change that. However, 2 years of GOOD work experience might very well give him a leg up over other people; a leg he wouldn't have if he doesn't get that WE.

What is the cost? You wait 2 years to go to law school. Sure, if you're confident that you'll have BigLaw out of LS then there's the opportunity cost of being a lawyer for those two years, but how smart is it to assume BigLaw ITE? So the costs a minimal, and the potential gain could be sizeable. It's math is very straight forward here.

I really don't see what the reasoning is against getting good work experience before law school. It's the smart thing to do.

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Wed May 05, 2010 12:07 am

My guess is we're sort of talking past each other. I really see nothing wrong with work experience; quite the contrary - I know many people who it has helped directly. I'm just sensitive to people trying to do things before law school to help with their legal employment prospects.

*shrug* ?

NYCbound
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby NYCbound » Wed May 05, 2010 1:07 pm

What is the likelihood that employers for IL summer jobs will contact references on your resume? I am working in a field that is related to the field i want to practice law in, and it has provided me some training that future organizations would be interested in. I plan on talking this up in future interviews (in the hopes that it will provide a marginal boost), but should I count on them trying to contact my current boss as well?

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Wed May 05, 2010 1:14 pm

NYCbound wrote:What is the likelihood that employers for IL summer jobs will contact references on your resume? I am working in a field that is related to the field i want to practice law in, and it has provided me some training that future organizations would be interested in. I plan on talking this up in future interviews (in the hopes that it will provide a marginal boost), but should I count on them trying to contact my current boss as well?


Quite unlikely.

d34d9823
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby d34d9823 » Wed May 05, 2010 1:16 pm

disco_barred wrote:The plural of anecdote is not statistic.


How many plurals does said statistic require?

Jk jk, I like where you're at here.

270910
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby 270910 » Wed May 05, 2010 1:21 pm

To try and put some hard numbers on it:

At my law school and with my goals (big firm in big city or die trying) I'd rather be top 25% w/ no work experience than top 33% with work experience. If I were top 5% or bottom 10%, work experience would be all but irrelevant.

Clearly at any given GPA work experience > no work experience. The point I'm trying to hammer home is that for the 'pipeline' of OCI and big firm jobs, 1L performance trumps everything else. If you have different goals or attend a school where the pipeline is irrelevant, the important of work experience increases greatly. And even for the pipeline work experience is a big, big plus.

Action Jackson
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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Action Jackson » Wed May 05, 2010 1:37 pm

disco_barred wrote:To try and put some hard numbers on it:

At my law school and with my goals (big firm in big city or die trying) I'd rather be top 25% w/ no work experience than top 33% with work experience. If I were top 5% or bottom 10%, work experience would be all but irrelevant.


WE and good grades are not mutually exclusive. Getting WE before law school isn't going to net you lower grades. So it is NOT a question of grade X + WE vs. grade Y - WE, but rather grade X + WE vs. grade X - WE.

AGAIN, super excellent grades from a super excellent school = WIN. No doubt. But are you actually saying someone -- anyone -- should just assume they're going to have super excellent grades?

So when you take grades out of the equation, you ask yourself, "Can work experience give me a leg up?" Yes, yes it can. You might not need to stand on that leg, but it's there for you if you do. And if you're median, even at a top 14 ITE, every little advantage helps.

I'm completely baffled by what you're saying here. Look, it's one thing to argue something like, "every second counts" and that a 22/23 year old should never, ever delay going to law school. That is at least a logical, though easily disputed (especially ITE), argument. However, that's not what you're saying. You're assuming WE will hinder OP's law school achievements. I see no reasoning to support that.

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Re: Importance of pre-law resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 05, 2010 1:40 pm

If you have a good job, why go to law school to begin with?




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