Law Enforcement Experience

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
Blueman50
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:59 am

Law Enforcement Experience

Postby Blueman50 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:43 pm

I have 6 years of experience as a police officer working the street at a major metro department.

Given the current climate and public opinion of law enforcement being what it is-would this experience actually work against me when applying for school?

I am not a traditional applicant. I will have been out of undergrad for about 9 years when I apply.

Not sure if this is relevant but I won't be applying to the top 14. My GPA is too low.

mcmand
Posts: 404
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: Law Enforcement Experience

Postby mcmand » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:19 pm

I think it's neutral. It could be positive if you're using it in your PS to compellingly explain why you want to go to law school. Beware of cliche, which could turn it into a negative. Make it about you, not about external things. If you discuss the challenges of law enforcement and public sentiment toward police, keep it tied to you, your goals, your reasons for law school. And, don't underestimate the importance of the quality of your writing. It can be a decisive factor if it's between you and another applicant.

Being older isn't necessarily a ding, and I don't think it is at all in your case. Assuming you were a traditional undergrad, 9 years out means you're roughly 31. At some law schools, that's only a few years above the median age rather than 9-10 years above it. Unfortunately, the ABA 509 reports don't have age data, so you'll have to ask law schools about their cohorts' median age.

GPA and LSAT are really the biggest factors. You didn't specify your GPA other than it being not good enough, but if you're north of 3.0 and have a very strong LSAT score, you're in spitting distance of many good schools. Not sure where you're at in your research process but make sure to check out all the 25-median-75th stats for LSAT and GPA at any T50 school that appeals to you and your goals, even ones you think you're not good enough for. Get a feel for what's going to be a stretch, what's attainable, and what's safe.

Here are the links you should start at:
http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/
http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/
https://www.lawschooltransparency.com/
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/ (take this with a grain of salt, it's all self-reported data)

Blueman50
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:59 am

Re: Law Enforcement Experience

Postby Blueman50 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:18 pm

Thank you for the response. For clarification the hostility (real or perceived) doesn't bother me, I was mostly concerned that admissions/faculty wouldn't want LEO in their program. My main interests would be public interest/government law post grad. I'll need to do very well on LSAT regardless of where I apply. Sub 3.0 gpa.

mcmand
Posts: 404
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: Law Enforcement Experience

Postby mcmand » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:28 pm

I'm sure there are faculty who don't think highly of LEO's, but there are plenty who do, or who are simply ambivalent and are more interested in what you bring to the table as a student. I don't think you should worry about it or put any mental energy into that. It's not something you can really control or know anyway, unless there's a law school that is literally saying "police need not apply."

Just put everything into the LSAT right now. Don't apply to any schools until you hit your target score. Check out the LSAT Prep and Discussion forum for tips and tricks (I'm sure you already are). Do whatever works for you to help you understand and beat the test. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses on it, so tailor your efforts to your own.




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