applying to law school represent a wide spectrum of differing academic and
professional backgrounds. A large number of applicants now have one or two years of
work experience before they even begin the process of applying to law school.
Some institutions even require that candidates work at least a year before
applying. Work experience can certainly help an applicant differentiate him or
herself from the rest of the competition. According to Jason Wu Trjillo, Senior
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at University of Virginia's
School of Law, "people with work experience bring an extra dimension to their
application. It can make them somewhat more competitive in the law school
admissions process." According to a recent article, new data indicates that
students at University of Virginia's School of Law had about two years of work
experience before starting their graduate coursework.
"Work experience is certainly a factor law schools use in
evaluating an application. And, if positioned correctly, can be used to
highlight personal skills and attributes which may not be readily apparent in
the rest of your application. Leadership and management skills, oral and written
communication skills, the ability to work within a team and individually,
maturity and hands-on experience are all positive traits which may be
highlighted in an application of someone with post-undergraduate work
experience," said Senior Admissions Consultant Susan Brooks.
In most cases, many of these skills will be more highly developed in the work-experienced
Susan added, "In addition, post-collegiate work experience is
also helpful when you are seeking a legal position as a law student. Many
legal employers like to hire law students who have worked full-time prior to
attending law school." The prior experience shows employers that the applicant
is familiar with the demands and expectations of a full-time career.