Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

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GMX2000
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Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby GMX2000 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:31 pm

Sorry for two topics but this is about a different, well, topic.

Is there something I should be doing as a 1st semester 1L besides just classwork, with respect to boosting my chances next year at OCIs or even actual job interviews way down the line?

In undergrad I felt like I had to hurry up and join a student organization, participate, go to their events, etc., so I could pad my resume with things to show I wasn't just lazy and that I cared about more than just pure academics. But in law school I just feel like I want to sit down and get my reading done, and not worry about spending hours of my time each week going to some student org meeting or whatever just to seem like I'm involved. In undergrad, I could justify spending time away from studying, but in law school I feel like to stay sane I need to spend those hours either studying or unwinding.

I want to go for either law review or moot court when the time comes. Should I just forget the student orgs and wait until I have a chance to do either of those? Or do you think it's important for some reason for me to get involved in orgs too, even if I'm not passionate about their missions/focuses?

Panth8080
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby Panth8080 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:44 pm

It's good to know someone else feels like I do. There was this big organization fair a few weeks ago, but I stopped by for two minutes and asked what the heck I was doing there!

I don't have an answer, but I believe that an employer would prefer top 10% grade with minimal extracurriculars over a top 33% grade with a bunch of extracurriculars. Just my two cents.

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DildaMan
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby DildaMan » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:52 pm

GMX2000 wrote:Sorry for two topics but this is about a different, well, topic.

Is there something I should be doing as a 1st semester 1L besides just classwork, with respect to boosting my chances next year at OCIs or even actual job interviews way down the line?

In undergrad I felt like I had to hurry up and join a student organization, participate, go to their events, etc., so I could pad my resume with things to show I wasn't just lazy and that I cared about more than just pure academics. But in law school I just feel like I want to sit down and get my reading done, and not worry about spending hours of my time each week going to some student org meeting or whatever just to seem like I'm involved. In undergrad, I could justify spending time away from studying, but in law school I feel like to stay sane I need to spend those hours either studying or unwinding.

I want to go for either law review or moot court when the time comes. Should I just forget the student orgs and wait until I have a chance to do either of those? Or do you think it's important for some reason for me to get involved in orgs too, even if I'm not passionate about their missions/focuses?


I found that joining a student association based on a particular field or practice area helped during OCI. A lot of the events allowed me to meet practicing attorneys; those contacts converted into screeners. The interviewers also occasionally ask why one didn't join the ______ Student Association if they were interested in a particular field.

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TTH
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby TTH » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:18 pm

Get on the memberlist for one or two ___ Law Societies and show up for picture day. Run for 1L Rep if you like. 1L student org positions require maybe two hours of time per semester.

This advice doesn't apply to SBA or your school's public interest fundraising group, which are special animals.

If you really want to be doing something "to prepare," start writing cover letters for December 1 if you're trying to get 1L SA.

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alicrimson
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby alicrimson » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:17 pm

Panth8080 wrote:It's good to know someone else feels like I do. There was this big organization fair a few weeks ago, but I stopped by for two minutes and asked what the heck I was doing there!

I don't have an answer, but I believe that an employer would prefer top 10% grade with minimal extracurriculars over a top 33% grade with a bunch of extracurriculars. Just my two cents.


I don't think top 10% necessarily requires one to have minimal involvement. The organizations really aren't that time consuming. Being part of one and studying just requires organization and time management. I'm a 2L and it's funny the low involvement/high grades perception exists. At my school (this just might be me, but based on going to callbacks with lots of people from different schools), many of the kids in the top 10% and at the very top of the class are involved and do well. Further, even if one did manage top 10% and had zero involvement, against other students who have top 10% and involvement, the low involved person falls flat.

I wouldn't advise crazy overextending yourself, but I would find an organization or two that you're interested in and get involved with leadership positions. In my interviews the bulk of the conversation revolved around outside interests. I think for OCI (from my experience), employers are looking for the whole package. They want brains and a person they can stand to work with. Not just brains.

GMX2000
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby GMX2000 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:20 pm

alicrimson wrote:
I don't think top 10% necessarily requires one to have minimal involvement. The organizations really aren't that time consuming. Being part of one and studying just requires organization and time management. I'm a 2L and it's funny the low involvement/high grades perception exists. At my school (this just might be me, but based on going to callbacks with lots of people from different schools), many of the kids in the top 10% and at the very top of the class are involved and do well. Further, even if one did manage top 10% and had zero involvement, against other students who have top 10% and involvement, the low involved person falls flat.

I wouldn't advise crazy overextending yourself, but I would find an organization or two that you're interested in and get involved with leadership positions. In my interviews the bulk of the conversation revolved around outside interests. I think for OCI (from my experience), employers are looking for the whole package. They want brains and a person they can stand to work with. Not just brains.


Well, now I've already pretty much missed the info sessions for the orgs (and the officer selections too). Would it still make sense/have a point for me to pick one and go to some of the meetings or what? Should I just wait until next semester?

I had A LOT of involvement in two different honors societies in undergrad (which is partially why I'm not all that interested in orgs now...I kind of burnt myself out). But, while I'd like to think that would matter, I assume things I accomplished in undergrad no longer matter, right? In which case I guess I would have to start from scratch with building involvement for my resume.

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alicrimson
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby alicrimson » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:30 pm

GMX2000 wrote:
alicrimson wrote:
I don't think top 10% necessarily requires one to have minimal involvement. The organizations really aren't that time consuming. Being part of one and studying just requires organization and time management. I'm a 2L and it's funny the low involvement/high grades perception exists. At my school (this just might be me, but based on going to callbacks with lots of people from different schools), many of the kids in the top 10% and at the very top of the class are involved and do well. Further, even if one did manage top 10% and had zero involvement, against other students who have top 10% and involvement, the low involved person falls flat.

I wouldn't advise crazy overextending yourself, but I would find an organization or two that you're interested in and get involved with leadership positions. In my interviews the bulk of the conversation revolved around outside interests. I think for OCI (from my experience), employers are looking for the whole package. They want brains and a person they can stand to work with. Not just brains.


Well, now I've already pretty much missed the info sessions for the orgs (and the officer selections too). Would it still make sense/have a point for me to pick one and go to some of the meetings or what? Should I just wait until next semester?


I had A LOT of involvement in two different honors societies in undergrad (which is partially why I'm not all that interested in orgs now...I kind of burnt myself out). But, while I'd like to think that would matter, I assume things I accomplished in undergrad no longer matter, right? In which case I guess I would have to start from scratch with building involvement for my resume.



I'd just pick one or maybe two and show up. There are probably only one or two meetings a month. I'm sure any of the organizations would love to have you.

Undergrad does matter. Some of my best stuff came from undergrad. I think the undergrad stuff that matters is the big stuff ie: varsity athletics, newspaper editor, or other high level stuff. Good luck!

idk
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby idk » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:07 am

try to pick something you might actually enjoy doing rather than something to pad your resume. as long as you aren't joining a journal, spo or taking on a leadership position, your time commitment to any given organization will be minimal. you should be able to find student activities and contacts via google.

thegrayman
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby thegrayman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:20 pm

getting involved with a student group in some capacity is a good idea. you will get to put it on your resume, and will probably like getting involved with other students in something other than school. you need to have something to put under activities for law school, it really doesn't matter what, so just pick whatever interests you.

de5igual
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby de5igual » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:31 pm

are you female or a racial/ethnic/religious minority? if so, join those, enjoy the free food, free booze, firm contacts, and eligibility to participate in diversity job fairs.

KidStuddi
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:28 am

Don't worry about it. No one will hold it against you.
I had zero involvement in anything outside of class as a 1L. Literally nothing. I didn't even throw a BS one on my resume because of character and fitness paranoia.
If It ever came up in interviews (and it rarely did), I told them the honest truth: that I made the conscious decision to focus on grades for a year knowing I would have two years to participate on the tail end. They pretty much all agreed that my priorities were where they should be and moved on. More often than not, they were just looking for conversation fodder and I simply talked about the organizations I planned on joining as a 2L. The bottom line is, no one is going to accuse of being "lazy" if you pull off grades that put you at or near the top of your class. Maybe one-dimensional, but certainly not lazy. I'm can't guarantee it didn't lower me down a notch in their minds, but I can tell you I had no problem securing several job offers from notoriously selective D.C. firms (and had a 100% callback to offer rate among v5-v25 firms nationwide) so it couldn't have hurt too bad.

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tfer2222
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Re: Stuff outside homework for 1st sem 1L?

Postby tfer2222 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:14 am

KidStuddi wrote:Don't worry about it. No one will hold it against you.
I had zero involvement in anything outside of class as a 1L. Literally nothing. I didn't even throw a BS one on my resume because of character and fitness paranoia.
If It ever came up in interviews (and it rarely did), I told them the honest truth: that I made the conscious decision to focus on grades for a year knowing I would have two years to participate on the tail end. They pretty much all agreed that my priorities were where they should be and moved on. More often than not, they were just looking for conversation fodder and I simply talked about the organizations I planned on joining as a 2L. The bottom line is, no one is going to accuse of being "lazy" if you pull off grades that put you at or near the top of your class. Maybe one-dimensional, but certainly not lazy. I'm can't guarantee it didn't lower me down a notch in their minds, but I can tell you I had no problem securing several job offers from notoriously selective D.C. firms (and had a 100% callback to offer rate among v5-v25 firms nationwide) so it couldn't have hurt too bad.


+1. Had 0 involvement and similar OCI success. Had about 25 OCIs and no one ever brought it up. Most focused on my listed interests, etc.

I preferred studying, and for the very rare free-time I had, relaxing far outside of the law school atmosphere with non-law friends.

To each his own, though.




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