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Get Into Top Law Schools by Flaunting Your Real World Experience

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 30, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While grades, test scores, and all the traditional factors you expect to matter for law school admissions do in fact matter, one of the most underestimated factors is real world experience.

Think about it, all other things being equal, who do you think a law school would rather admit, someone who has never held a real job, or someone who has? As US News explains, law students with real world experience are generally viewed as more mature and able to bring something extra to the table. And in this day and age, being extra matters.

Experience That Matters

Unfortunately, not all experience is created equal in the eyes of law school admissions officers.

For example, if you're flipping burgers thanks to what you regretfully claim to be a worthless B.A., it's not likely to reflect favorably on your application. However, if you can find meaningful work, or something in the legal field or legal-adjacent, it could give you a significant leg up. But if you are relegated to flipping burgers to make ends meet or as a means to an end, there's no shame in that, but law school admissions folks are going to want to see more in terms of drive and ambition.

Giving to Receive

One of the best types of real world experience law school applicants can flaunt on applications involves volunteer work providing legal services to underserved communities. There are several bar associations that accept volunteers, or may even have paying jobs available, for non-lawyers. These positions not only provide valuable exposure to the law, they reflect on a person's good character (which as you will learn, or already know, matters a lot if you actually want to be a lawyer).

Giving back is an important duty that practicing lawyers are tasked with aspiring to (pro bono is not required, but it strongly encouraged). Showing law schools that you understand the need to do good for the community can set you apart from the pack, who mostly just talks about wanting to change the world, but frankly doesn't know how.

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