Law School Organizations NOT to Join

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etramak

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Law School Organizations NOT to Join

Postby etramak » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:03 pm

Are there any extracurricular organizations that Biglaw firms will look down on when it comes to hiring? I'm thinking something like a political student group that is further to the left or the right of mainstream US politics. Will employers look down on participation in such groups?

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Law School Organizations NOT to Join

Postby totesTheGoat » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:15 pm

Most firms don't really care. Lawyers as a whole lean a bit left, so it's probably smart to be more wary of littering your resume with right-leaning groups. I had a politically charged extracurricular on my resume, and it only came up in one interview because the interviewers were also members of the organization.

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rowingmyboat

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Re: Law School Organizations NOT to Join

Postby rowingmyboat » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Agree with the above poster. If it's a bunch of organizations around a political affiliation (like putting FedSoc, ACLJ, Law Republicans, and Thomas More Society), you might get some bias from interviewers (mostly thinking you might be difficult to work with if someone has a different ideology or that you are super partisan).

Probably more importantly, the goal of having orgs on your resume should mostly be to have something to talk about during interviews. Keep in mind that interviewers will feel more comfortable asking you about your experience with a Food and the Law Club than asking you about a political club, which could make for an awkward interview. That said, don't worry about having a bunch. Six orgs is not really better than three that you can actually speak about.

Res publica

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Re: Law School Organizations NOT to Join

Postby Res publica » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:57 pm

To offer some counter to the points made above me, taking the chance by putting a political extracurricular might help you. I know a friend who was a Republican and made it clear during his interview that he was. It helped establish affinity to the applicant because as flawed humans we are, we like to associate with people who think like us. Also, it signals that you have principles and are willing to take a stand for something. Backbone is sometimes a quality I think lawyers wish they had. My insight would be that you increase your chances with half the firms you apply to, and decrease your chances at the other half. In other words, your application might be more volatile: you can win big or go home empty.

QContinuum

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Re: Law School Organizations NOT to Join

Postby QContinuum » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:21 pm

rowingmyboat wrote:Agree with the above poster. If it's a bunch of organizations around a political affiliation (like putting FedSoc, ACLJ, Law Republicans, and Thomas More Society), you might get some bias from interviewers (mostly thinking you might be difficult to work with if someone has a different ideology or that you are super partisan).

Probably more importantly, the goal of having orgs on your resume should mostly be to have something to talk about during interviews. Keep in mind that interviewers will feel more comfortable asking you about your experience with a Food and the Law Club than asking you about a political club, which could make for an awkward interview. That said, don't worry about having a bunch. Six orgs is not really better than three that you can actually speak about.


To elaborate a bit further on this, I think the main danger is giving off the impression that you're more drawn to political activism than corporate work. Rightly or wrongly, being affiliated with a bunch of activist orgs (or a bunch of political campaigns) is going to send up a yellow flag to BigLaw interviewers.

But I've never heard any hint of anyone facing headwinds for merely having ACS or FedSoc on their resume (or even being officers in ACS/FedSoc).



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