Do employers care what you did before law school?

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JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby JJDancer » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:49 pm

Once an individual graduates law school and applies for their FIRST job as a lawyer, do employers consider their pre-law school experience or lack thereof? Or is it basically, where you went to law school, gpa, class rank (top x%), law review or not, and summer internships/clerkships/jobs?

Thanks.

nylaw23
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby nylaw23 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:54 pm

In my opinion there is a two step process for legal recruiting. First, they have a cut off for gpa/school/rank of students they will interview. Once you get past that, the interview is what is going to get you the job, and that's where previous experience might impress or create a connection with the interviewer and make you seem more dynamic than students straight from college. Actually, one of my teachers (who has done interviewing for her previous firm) that I was talking about OCI said that she hired someone that had experience running her own business and that's what she found interesting.

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby JJDancer » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:09 pm

To add: I'm not necessarily referring to what you did in undergrad but if you took 1-3 years off to work - is that factored in?

Some background:
I'm asking this because I have an interest in marketing and of course I would love to work for a large firm in a great city but that's likely not possible as a political science grad. However I still want the time off from law school and would want to dabble in that industry even if its nothing that sounds impressive or pays a whole lot.
I may come back home to Miami and work for firms that do bilingual marketing for this area and I know I would be happy/have fun practicing my spanish and doing that sort of work.
But my parents seem to think that I should go for the most impressive looking/highest paying job I can get even if its just for the year before law school.

FrankReynolds
Posts: 113
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:43 pm

Re: Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby FrankReynolds » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:10 pm

Without my work experience I might have been shot out on the callbacks this year. I don't think it mattered much in the past, but in this economy, I would not want to be a median student coming straight from undergrad.

gollymolly
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:32 pm

Re: Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby gollymolly » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:33 pm

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Last edited by gollymolly on Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby JJDancer » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:45 pm

gollymolly wrote:I worked a handful of "unimpressive" jobs between undergrad and law school. Every employer asked me about them during OCI and all of them were satisfied with a brief explanation that I wanted to get some work experience and save some money before law school, even though I wasn't planning on staying in that field forever and the jobs werent very prestigious. So, in short, go for it.


Thanks. May I ask what law school school you attended/what sorts of jobs you applied for?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Do employers care what you did before law school?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:03 am

I worked for several years in a non-law industry before entering law school, and that's been a centerpiece of my conversation for almost every interview I've gone on... In my case, I think it's been a huge plus that I've worked. (have gotten several callbacks already and I just started interviewing, fingers crossed for more). I would really recommend it, especially in this economy. even if it doesn't help you at interviews, it'll give you more focus in school and help you get some real-world experience before hitting the books again.




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