does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

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goatness
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does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby goatness » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:18 pm

hi all, hope this is the right place for this post

so im not actually in law school yet, but definitely intending on attending law school after working 2 years

im debating between staying at a small local firm where i would learn much more in depth about the law practice, closer mentoring relationships with lawyers, and also no commute (more time to study)

or leave for a biglaw firm in DC and work in the conflicts department, more prestigious title and setting, but probably less meaningful relationships and long commute

how much will getting internships in law school be affected by my work experience? will they be more excited to see my work at a biglaw or more indepth experience at a small law firm?

insight appreciated :)

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bk1
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby bk1 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:22 pm

I hear ITE that certain types of w/e have proven to be invaluable at OCI. That is what I have read on TLS and I do not know specifically what it is or how long it was for.

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MrKappus
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby MrKappus » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:25 pm

Honestly, I have good grades, LR, and a few projects I'm working on w/ profs...and I have no idea what I'd talk about in interviews if I didn't have WE.

To answer your question: firms want to hear about jobs that had you engaged, involved, and professionally developing. These things are more likely to happen in a position for which you're enthusiastic...the prestige of the title/firm matters considerably less, IMO.

Black-Blue
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Black-Blue » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:44 pm

ITE, pre-law school experience is important.

goatness
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby goatness » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:59 pm

Black-Blue wrote:ITE, pre-law school experience is important.


could you clarify that more? any specific type of experience is more important than others? obviously not working at mcdonalds im assuming :D

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dood
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby dood » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:14 am

...
Last edited by dood on Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:18 am

Anything that makes you memorable is good. I've some very unique WE and I think it ended up being incredibly beneficial (at least judging by my huge over-performance at OCI)

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:29 am

MrKappus wrote:Honestly, I have good grades, LR, and a few projects I'm working on w/ profs...and I have no idea what I'd talk about in interviews if I didn't have WE.

To answer your question: firms want to hear about jobs that had you engaged, involved, and professionally developing. These things are more likely to happen in a position for which you're enthusiastic...the prestige of the title/firm matters considerably less, IMO.

+1

I don't have great numbers (T-14, around top 1/3), but I've done really well in OCI (10 CBs so far), which I'm convinced is due to my WE. I didn't discuss grades during a single interview at OCI, and almost all of my time was spent on jobs. I asked a recruiter if WE was playing a bigger role in hiring this year, and he said it was in certain fields, but not generally. If the WE is somewhat relevant and unique (as stated above), it can be a huge asset.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:34 am

Black-Blue wrote:ITE, pre-law school experience is important.


The thing to realize is that interviewers have a GPA cut-off, then significant leeway after that. Among the pool of people who have the requisite GPA, WE and the conversations it let's you have during the interview have a major impact.

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rayiner
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby rayiner » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:43 am

goatness wrote:
Black-Blue wrote:ITE, pre-law school experience is important.


could you clarify that more? any specific type of experience is more important than others? obviously not working at mcdonalds im assuming :D


Depends on the firm and how you leverage it. My 1L internship has gotten me 3 CBs by my estimate because it was interesting and relevant to specific practice areas. At the same time was at a callback at a firm that did no IP or tech stuff, but one partner happened to be an engineer and we connected over that shared point.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:00 am

goatness wrote:
Black-Blue wrote:ITE, pre-law school experience is important.


could you clarify that more? any specific type of experience is more important than others? obviously not working at mcdonalds im assuming :D


Don't laugh. One of the OCI interviewers was actually impressed that I worked at Burger King for a couple years. It shows them I was willing to work hard, long hours, and get down and dirty - all the requisites to becoming a lawyer. I had a CB with this firm, a V10, yesterday and I thought it went well. :)

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:15 am

A big, emphatic YES.

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Kohinoor
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:34 am

dood wrote:ibanking & management consulting >>> engineering & tech consulting >>> biglaw paralegal work >>> TFA >>> everything else

Easiest way to judge value of WE is by salary.

ftfy

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:53 am

asked a V20 recruiter about this question as a straight out of undergrad person. She said they did not care at all and most of the people they hired were straight out.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:55 am

After the grade cutoff, the interviewers will callback the people they remember the most. Good WE is a definite asset in setting you apart from people- "call back the guy who worked in finance," or "the engineer."

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:40 pm

dood wrote:ibanking & management consulting >>> engineering & tech consulting >>> TFA >>> everything else

Easiest way to judge value of WE is by salary.


Depends on the firm. I had a partner interviewing me say that she looked very highly upon teachers, especially teachers who have worked in inner city schools or otherwise difficult conditions. Perhaps it's for similar reasons to the poster above who discussed his time working at Burger King: long hours, tough working conditions, managing competing demands on your time, and having to grin and take BS while you work with shithead administrators (in the law firm context, partners).

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Ford Prefect » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dood wrote:ibanking & management consulting >>> engineering & tech consulting >>> TFA >>> everything else

Easiest way to judge value of WE is by salary.


Depends on the firm. I had a partner interviewing me say that she looked very highly upon teachers, especially teachers who have worked in inner city schools or otherwise difficult conditions. Perhaps it's for similar reasons to the poster above who discussed his time working at Burger King: long hours, tough working conditions, managing competing demands on your time, and having to grin and take BS while you work with shithead administrators (in the law firm context, partners).


Well that's the best thing I've heard all day.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:55 pm

I had multiple interviewers tell me that work experience of 2+ years after undergrad was a significant plus. They each told some variation of this story: Our washouts are disproportionately kids who go straight to law school out of undergrad and underestimate the grind of showing up every day and getting the job done. They seemed much more comfortable hiring someone who had gone back to law school at 30 and excelled than someone who had gone straight out of undergrad and excelled.

Outside of business backgrounds, former teachers, former journalists and former military all seem to be particularly well thought of.

I think this is only a generality. When they're faced with a terrific t14 candidate with a great GPA who can tell a compelling story - whatever that story is - that can easily overcome a lack of work experience.

But if you're a straight-from-undergrad at a school outside the t14 and you're spending the interview talking about your stint as vice president of the Women's Law Society or the Sports Law Society, GPA's probably not going to be enough to save you. You've gotta have something to sell, be it work experience or something else.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:58 pm

I think that it makes a difference with some employers and not others. However, it does make interviews go more smoothly, because you can always use your work experience as a way to sell yourself. Management-level work experience is a lot better, but any WE will give you something to talk about at least, in terms of responsibility, discipline, and knowing what will be expected of you in a non-academic environment. This sells to employers that you know what you're getting yourself into and won't be all "but this is haaard" when it's time to actually work.

Plus, and I really believe this, WE helps you get better grades which indirectly helps you in OCI. The people I've known who did best were almost always people who had a year or more of real WE. So even if it doesn't come up in the interview it still might have made a difference in other ways.

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creamedcats
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby creamedcats » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:03 pm

Good thread. Hope the stuff about WE being valuable is true.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:asked a V20 recruiter about this question as a straight out of undergrad person. She said they did not care at all and most of the people they hired were straight out.


Especially if you're attending HYS.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:17 pm

[/quote]
Anonymous User wrote:I had multiple interviewers tell me that work experience of 2+ years after undergrad was a significant plus. They each told some variation of this story: Our washouts are disproportionately kids who go straight to law school out of undergrad and underestimate the grind of showing up every day and getting the job done.


I think that's a good point.

I had WE, but it was lowly managerial experience in a unique retail setting. Though I worked in retail, the WE factor played in my favor when interviewing: managing full-time work and academics; several interviewers had worked for or enjoyed the products that the company I had worked for; having experience in resolving employee conflicts.

The goal of any business is to make money, and the firms, especially ITE, are less willing to waste resources and absorb potential losses from SAs who will not be able to sustain the intense amount of hours that a law job entails. I think that firms probably place a lot more emphasis on personality fit, partner potential and ability to acclimate to the hours than in the past.

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:17 pm

16 cbacks all v100 - think a lot due to good WE but good grades didn't hurt

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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:19 pm

What is the value of part-time WE, especially not law related ? I worked for two years out of undergrad waiting tables while holding some interesting temp and intern positions, none of which were in law. I have a relatively interesting resume. I had just assumed I would have to start over with a blank one for LS and beyond.

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Adjudicator
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Re: does pre-law school work experiences have an impact on OCI?

Postby Adjudicator » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:21 pm

I always thought that once I start law school, I would never have to talk about my experience working at Walmart again.

But it sounds like that assumption may not be true.




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