How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

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How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:26 am

I know that some types of employment (Investment Banking, Teach for America, etc.) help with getting into law school, but how important is this in locking up positions after 2L? For instance, will the fact that I was in a position with no real responsibility that I can make look good on a resume hurt me if I am at a T14 with good class rank? In other words how much does in-school performance compare to pre-law school performance?

Thanks!

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Re: How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:40 am

I think the baseline is that firms don't really plan on their incoming associates knowing anything, so having bad (or no) work experience won't hurt you. That said, I've definitely had good conversations (and many callbacks) based on my fairly strong work experience in a relevant area to what I want to practice, so it can definitely help.

But yeah. If you did a crappy job, firms will understand: you went to law school for a reason, after all.

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Re: How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:10 am

My experience working in investment banking has been ridiculously helpful during 2L recruiting. I would say much more helpful in recruiting than in actually getting into law school.

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Re: How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:24 am

I had a very interesting govt. job involving investigations and it's helped me a great deal during OCI. I have good grades, approx. 10% @T14, but every edge you can have in these interviews is important, especially ITE. Having stories to excite and entertain interviewers has been great and I credit a lot of my callbacks to my WE.

I also worked for almost 4 years. Having the work be substantial (w/promotions) as opposed to just one year has helped as well.

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Re: How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:42 am

So it seems like something that will be helpful in terms of something to talk about, but it is not a death sentence to have no pre-law school work experience?

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Re: How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:So it seems like something that will be helpful in terms of something to talk about, but it is not a death sentence to have no pre-law school work experience?


It certainly helps a lot. I had one interviewer straight up tell me they were looking for people with business-related experience who could hit the ground running.

Having struck out at OCI, I also asked for some candid comments from some of the interviewers with whom I seemed to get along. They said that at least on paper the committees decided to call-back people with some measure of work experience.

If you're grades are knock-em-dead good, I don't think it matters as much. But if you're on the cusp, a wobbler to borrow one of my favorite legal phrases, then I think having work experience (or not having it) might make a significant difference.

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Re: How Much Does Pre-Law School Work Experience Matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:00 am

I know people at my school (CCN) who were just barely above median and got into V5 firms (assumedly) because of really strong work experience. It can make a huge difference.




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