Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby englawyer » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:23 pm

pa.wink wrote:
I assure it's both extremely relevant to law and illustrative of several capacities which lend themselves perfectly to the same.


Maybe this is heresy, but if I were an admissions officer looking at your law-relevant work experience and LSAT, I would think, "Okay, he's spent 7 years working in a field where he's been doing legal-type work and could develop his potential in logical reasoning/other legal skills, and yet he's scoring worse on the LSAT than a kid who's basically had 4 years of general education? What does that say about their relative potential to develop those skills further in law school?"

This comment is assuming, of course, that you took the LSAT after accumulating a bunch of work experience.


ouch!

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:33 pm

englawyer wrote:
pa.wink wrote:
I assure it's both extremely relevant to law and illustrative of several capacities which lend themselves perfectly to the same.


Maybe this is heresy, but if I were an admissions officer looking at your law-relevant work experience and LSAT, I would think, "Okay, he's spent 7 years working in a field where he's been doing legal-type work and could develop his potential in logical reasoning/other legal skills, and yet he's scoring worse on the LSAT than a kid who's basically had 4 years of general education? What does that say about their relative potential to develop those skills further in law school?"

This comment is assuming, of course, that you took the LSAT after accumulating a bunch of work experience.


ouch!


The guy has been doing executive level work dealing with multi-million-dollar, extremely complex, transactions.... and did this work full-time prior to taking the LSAT. He prepared for about a month, in the evenings. The UG kid who was having his clothes washed by his mom and having meals cooked while living for free and hanging out had a bit more time to focus on ONE singular mission which isn't really an indicator of your potential as an attorney. (just ability to get through 1L, at best)

Again, I understand the reliance on LSAT, but simply don't agree that a few points trump a considerable body of work experience that relates extremely well to law. 10-20 points? Absolutely. A few? No.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby rayiner » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:36 pm

reasonabledoubt wrote:The guy has been doing executive level work dealing with multi-million-dollar, extremely complex, transactions.... a considerable body of work experience that relates extremely well to law.


That work experience doesn't relate very well at all to what you do in law school.

User avatar
sundevil77
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:34 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby sundevil77 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:37 pm

ITT: Applicants with W/E but low LSATs cry because they feel unloved.

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:40 pm

rayiner wrote:
reasonabledoubt wrote:The guy has been doing executive level work dealing with multi-million-dollar, extremely complex, transactions.... a considerable body of work experience that relates extremely well to law.


That work experience doesn't relate very well at all to what you do in law school.


That's ridiculous. It absolutely does and I spoke to several law professors, attorney friends, etc. I'm talking about general corporate, corporate finance, securities and banking areas of law.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:41 pm

reasonabledoubt wrote:
englawyer wrote:
pa.wink wrote:
I assure it's both extremely relevant to law and illustrative of several capacities which lend themselves perfectly to the same.


Maybe this is heresy, but if I were an admissions officer looking at your law-relevant work experience and LSAT, I would think, "Okay, he's spent 7 years working in a field where he's been doing legal-type work and could develop his potential in logical reasoning/other legal skills, and yet he's scoring worse on the LSAT than a kid who's basically had 4 years of general education? What does that say about their relative potential to develop those skills further in law school?"

This comment is assuming, of course, that you took the LSAT after accumulating a bunch of work experience.


ouch!


The guy has been doing executive level work dealing with multi-million-dollar, extremely complex, transactions.... and did this work full-time prior to taking the LSAT. He prepared for about a month, in the evenings. The UG kid who was having his clothes washed by his mom and having meals cooked while living for free and hanging out had a bit more time to focus on ONE singular mission which isn't really an indicator of your potential as an attorney. (just ability to get through 1L, at best)

Again, I understand the reliance on LSAT, but simply don't agree that a few points trump a considerable body of work experience that relates extremely well to law. 10-20 points? Absolutely. A few? No.


A few points really are within the margin of error of the LSAT, but Mr. executive should have taken the LSAT seriously. I was working 45-50 hours with an hour commute each way, and had enough time to do well on the LSAT.

I'm also not sure executive level work shows the potential for law school success. I've heard it said law school and practicing law are very different things. Law school is much more academic. This is 0L hearsay though.

What work experience does do is show dedication, work ethic, and the ability to succeed in real life. It makes sense that adcoms will let W/E make up for a poor GPA but not a poor LSAT.

But the real reason it is a GPA mender and not an LSAT mender is that high GPA's are a dime a dozen, and high LSAT's are scarce and law schools are competing mostly on numbers.

TCR to your exec, is go to the Northwestern AJD program. He wouldn't even have to take the LSAT. 8)

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:41 pm

sundevil77 wrote:ITT: Applicants with W/E but low LSATs cry because they feel unloved.


It's not THAT low... sheesh. It's just no 170+. Woe to me, I might have to retake to self-actualize.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:43 pm

reasonabledoubt wrote:
sundevil77 wrote:ITT: Applicants with W/E but low LSATs cry because they feel unloved.


It's not THAT low... sheesh. It's just no 170+. Woe to me, I might have to retake to self-actualize.


You really should. For almost all students law school admissions are a numbers game.

amichig
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:01 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby amichig » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:47 pm

Miracle wrote:I understand your frustration however in LSAT we're all equal, and that's why I believe it should carry the weight that it does.



False, completely false. Students who have mom and dad paying for a $5,000 prep class versus student who works, has a child, and studies on own from the few books and practice tests they can afford does not calculate to "we're all equal".

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby rayiner » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:47 pm

reasonabledoubt wrote:
rayiner wrote:
reasonabledoubt wrote:The guy has been doing executive level work dealing with multi-million-dollar, extremely complex, transactions.... a considerable body of work experience that relates extremely well to law.


That work experience doesn't relate very well at all to what you do in law school.


That's ridiculous. It absolutely does and I spoke to several law professors, attorney friends, etc. I'm talking about general corporate, corporate finance, securities and banking areas of law.


You don't do any of those things during your 1L year, your performance in which is all that firms really care about.

Your 1L year involves learning very rudimentary concepts in: contracts, torts, civil procedure, property, constitutional law, and criminal law. You then take a very time-pressured exam that stresses rapid application of those concepts.

You don't come anywhere near anything resembling a complex transaction. The basic business vocabulary you need to know (for contracts and property) involves basic things like promissory notes that you can easily pick up as you go along.

EDIT: In regards to preparation... I studied for the LSAT over a couple of months while working full time as an engineer. I'd do one section in the morning before work and one during lunch, and a full PT on Saturday, doing 2-3 PT's a week this way.
Last edited by rayiner on Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:53 pm

amichig wrote:
Miracle wrote:I understand your frustration however in LSAT we're all equal, and that's why I believe it should carry the weight that it does.



False, completely false. Students who have mom and dad paying for a $5,000 prep class versus student who works, has a child, and studies on own from the few books and practice tests they can afford does not calculate to "we're all equal".


Classes are useless IMO. In fact a kid with a book has to put in the effort himself may be better off since he's under no delusion that taking a class is actually doing something.

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby englawyer » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:57 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
A few points really are within the margin of error of the LSAT, but Mr. executive should have taken the LSAT seriously. I was working 45-50 hours with an hour commute each way, and had enough time to do well on the LSAT.

I'm also not sure executive level work shows the potential for law school success. I've heard it said law school and practicing law are very different things. Law school is much more academic. This is 0L hearsay though.

What work experience does do is show dedication, work ethic, and the ability to succeed in real life. It makes sense that adcoms will let W/E make up for a poor GPA but not a poor LSAT.

But the real reason it is a GPA mender and not an LSAT mender is that high GPA's are a dime a dozen, and high LSAT's are scarce and law schools are competing mostly on numbers.

TCR to your exec, is go to the Northwestern AJD program. He wouldn't even have to take the LSAT. 8)


+1. there are programs designed for the hypothetical multi-million dollar wheeler and dealer. they might also have a better shot at JD/MBA with a slightly lower LSAT, but that is pure speculation

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:19 pm

Nod to TLS coming... my case is one of inadequate notions of the law school admission process which was skewed by working so long, in my opinion. I genuinely thought my work experience was going to be one of the most pivotal elements of my application.... not so. If I had found TLS sooner, I would have quickly adjusted these notions and adequately prepared for the test instead of winging it for a mediocre score.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby rayiner » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:51 pm

englawyer wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
A few points really are within the margin of error of the LSAT, but Mr. executive should have taken the LSAT seriously. I was working 45-50 hours with an hour commute each way, and had enough time to do well on the LSAT.

I'm also not sure executive level work shows the potential for law school success. I've heard it said law school and practicing law are very different things. Law school is much more academic. This is 0L hearsay though.

What work experience does do is show dedication, work ethic, and the ability to succeed in real life. It makes sense that adcoms will let W/E make up for a poor GPA but not a poor LSAT.

But the real reason it is a GPA mender and not an LSAT mender is that high GPA's are a dime a dozen, and high LSAT's are scarce and law schools are competing mostly on numbers.

TCR to your exec, is go to the Northwestern AJD program. He wouldn't even have to take the LSAT. 8)


+1. there are programs designed for the hypothetical multi-million dollar wheeler and dealer. they might also have a better shot at JD/MBA with a slightly lower LSAT, but that is pure speculation


The AJD's at NU have a 168-173 LSAT range + a median 6 years of WE. The best route for this hypothetical applicant would be the JD-MBA, where he can take the GMAT instead.

User avatar
Aeroplane
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby Aeroplane » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:56 pm

All of the programs where applicants don't have to take the LSAT: Wolverine scholar, JD/MBA, whatever

If a matriculant in one of these programs has already taken the LSAT and has a score on file, doesn't that score get reported & factored into the school's USNWR even if the program itself doesn't require it for admission? That's what I always thought.

User avatar
jlnoa0915
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:25 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby jlnoa0915 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:00 pm

I believe my w/e has helped, though my w/e is being a veteran so that may be different than working as a manager somewhere ect. I feel it helped make up for my reverse splitting 163( :evil: ) lsat. If you have two similar candidates and one has little or no softs and the other does, chances are the one with w/e will get accepted. Doesn't mean it makes up for lack luster scores or gpa though.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby keg411 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:52 pm

My WE hasn't done much this cycle, but I'm pretty much a blank at most of my schools so far because I'm re-taking (was supposed on on Sat. but got snowed out) and the schools I've gotten into I've done the traditional split (i.e. above 75th LSAT below 25th GPA).

However, the LSAT excuses are ridiculous. Before September, I was working 40 hours/week and taking a class about 10 hours/week. Knew the LSAT was important, so I spent some of the $$ I make working on a private tutor so I did not have to worry about a class schedule and could make my own since time was tight for me. My score was not where I wanted/needed so I chose to re-take and continued to get help from the tutor (who also thought that I had underperformed based on how I had done in the past and we formed a good relationship so I did not have to continue to pay a ton of $$$ for the services). Hopefully I will get where I need to be; if not I've probably hit the proverbial wall and will go where I get in.

But there's no excuse for those of us with low GPA's who are out of school to not maximize our LSAT chances and use "I don't have the time" as an excuse.

savagecheater
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:51 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby savagecheater » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:53 pm

Consider the Cravath method's view of your work experience - you're not as impressionable and pliable as a fresh-faced 0L.

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby englawyer » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:03 pm

savagecheater wrote:Consider the Cravath method's view of your work experience - you're not as impressionable and pliable as a fresh-faced 0L.


haha +1. why do you think the military recruits 18 yr olds not 25 yr olds?

User avatar
pa.wink
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby pa.wink » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:16 pm

I genuinely thought my work experience was going to be one of the most pivotal elements of my application


The other thing you have to keep in mind is that the personal statement/resume combination is your opportunity to show your drive and goals in wanting to be a lawyer, whereas GPA and LSAT only really show ability. Work experience is great for an application when it shows why you want to do law, or both your drive and ability. Maybe this thread doesn't reflect the approach you took on your application, but if you framed your work experience as an indication of your ability to do law (because you were concerned your LSAT didn't reflect that), then the drive part probably really suffered in your application. Maybe the admissions officers at these schools didn't doubt your ability to do law because of your LSAT but didn't get a sense of why you want to do law (besides making lots of money).

On the other hand, undergrads tend to write about groups or experiences that inform what they want to do with the law and why rather than experiences that demonstrate their ability to do law.

Also, they usually take the LSAT at school, doing their own laundry, taking classes, finals, writing theses and probably job-searching like crazy in case they don't go to Law school straight out of school.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:30 pm

TWoodWil wrote:It's called the Law School Admissions Test for a reason.

The OP said:
It's a bit troubling to think my 7+ years of quantifiable acheivement in the real world is trumped by a fresh-out-of-undergrad applicant with an LSAT a few points higher (who didn't have to juggle working full time w/preparing) but that is exactly what the data is starting to prove.


Scoring a few points higher on an examination that by design and purpose is used for admissions purposes for ABA law schools should trump other factors. While the statistical correlation between LSAT scores and 1L grades is far from perfect, it is the best predictive tool that the schools have at their disposal. There's no quantifiable way to correlate "achievement" in the real world (at least as far as the admissions process is concerned).

While someone may have seven years of work experience, that also means that they happen to be seven years older. The experience of working for a number of years, and being older than other students, may help enrich and broaden the student community and the school. However, that does not mean the lower LSAT-higher WE candidate will be a better student, or potential future lawyer, than the higher LSAT-lower/no WE person.

As for the claim that "holistic considerations are a fanciful myth" - I will argue that the problem is what applicants think the holistic process should be and what it really is. Everyone thinks they are extraordinary, unique, and have the makings to be among the leading lawyers of their generation. Holistic evaluations by AdComs really only happen when the applicant does not have the raw statistical indicators that would otherwise make them an admitted candidate. There are a finite number of positions available in an incoming class, and even fewer available to those with lower LSAT scores. So I would argue that the holistic process, which is based on qualitative and subject measures, is much more competitive than the normal numbers-only process.

Is 7 years of working better than a masters degree? How about a first-generation college grad who grew up in the inner city? Military veteran? Fresh from undergrad student who interned at a DA's office for three summers in college?

So the OP, or anyone reading this, may believe their WE and other softs make them a better applicant than someone with an LSAT a few points higher; but the inescapable point is that on the one thing in the universe purposefully designed to try to statistically predict law school performance you underperformed. Now, once in law school one can always out- or under-perform their LSAT but you cannot go around blaming schools for rejecting you based on the test all applicants must take and all schools must use.


+ 1,000,000

Best post in this thread.

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:44 pm

I see what you're trying to get at, but think you're a little out of touch with reality. First of all, how can you say "the fact that you held a decent job for 7 years is not that impressive?" How do you know it isn't impressive? Do you know the scale of the work I've done? What is impressive, the inverse? Also, are you forgetting that I already have dozens of higher level connections through a near-decade of networking, etc? Why would a recent law school grad that went straight there from undergrad have more connections that I do? I'm sure you realize the silliness of this. Here, I'll paste some of my recommendation letter from a parter at a rather prominent firm... I subsituted "RD" for my name for obvious reasons.

EDIT: for security reasons.

That's from a senior partner... let me guess, you think he's wrong and you know more.
Last edited by reasonabledoubt on Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Modian
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:02 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby Modian » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:47 pm

in b4 lock

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby reasonabledoubt » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:49 pm

Modian wrote:in b4 lock


Why do you think this will be locked?

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Work Experience is proving to not matter this cycle.

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:51 pm

I don't think I know more than a senior partner, but I also don't think quoting your letter of rec really proves anything. My letters of rec were STELLAR, but you know how much they mattered in my decision?

About this much

Before I even applied, I learned a ton on TLS about the process for law school admissions. As somebody above mentioned, it goes something like LSAT>GPA>PS>LORs. The fact that your WE isn't blowing anybody away shouldn't come as a surprise to you.

I didn't expect my LORS to mean much. Its the LSAT that makes the difference. I agree with you that the process isn't perfect and that it could be better, but that doesn't mean that your 7 years of WE should trump an extra 4-5 points on the LSAT.




Return to “Law School Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: beluckycrimson, Christinabruin, curry4bfast, Google [Bot], ws120 and 7 guests