With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "job'

General admissions strategy questions, what are my chances, discussion of specific application materials like financial aid and scholarships.
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lawschoolmonkey
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With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "job'

Post by lawschoolmonkey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:27 pm

Hey all,

So I'm a HYPSM (Harvard,Yale,Princeton,Stanford,MIT) recent college graduate, and I originally planned on spending a few months after college graduation to study full-time for the LSAT before I would join the Peace Corps or some kind of intensive full-time program.

Problem is, the LSAT did not come easy for me, and I ended up spending longer studying for it than I expected. I've taken it 4 times over the course of 2 years, and have finally hit around my goal score.

During those 2 years of studying for the LSAT, however, I did not have a "full-time" professional job-- like someone working full time as a Business Analyst at McKinsey (like many of my peers) or as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm.

The reason I did not choose to do such a "full time" professional job is because they are very demanding, often requiring 70+ hours a week. I was really struggling with my LSAT, and I could not see myself balancing a full-time demanding job with the rigors of LSAT studying (I know many do this, but given how bad I was at the LSAT and how slow a learner I was, I thought this would be REALLY hard, and would impede on my LSAT prep).

As a result, during these 2 years, I was self-employed and worked as a private admissions consultant for high school students - both in my area and through referrals, around the world. The money was good and far better than any retail job. I charged $75/hour for my clients and helped everything from writing their personal statements to crafting their resumes. The hours were flexible, the money was good, and the work was fun and interesting.

I was able to do this because I am a HYPSM college graduate, so I could sell myself on the "How to get into an Ivy League" story.

This has been my main source of income and my main "job" for the past 2 years. How would this "job" look like on my resume for law school admissions? Would law schools look down on this because it's not as "cool" or "traditional" as a full time paralegal job, or a job working as a consultant at McKinsey? Would it be a considered negative? Or just no effect?

My main interests and motivations in law are in environmental law and regulation, so what I did as private college admissions consultant was NOT related in any way to my story of "why law school?" so I don't see it related in any way when I write my personal statement on my passion in environmental law. It was just a way to make money and survive. Would that be seen as a negative?

My STORY (and what I hope to write my personal statement on) of how I got into environmental law are mostly based in my college internships/coursework (from a few years back), and not my work as a college admissions consultant.

Would that be ok?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Please do not quote.

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beep
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by beep » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:31 pm

Conventional wisdom is that what you do between college and law school doesn't really matter. I'm not sure that's completely true -- my experience doing firm recruiting was that firms sometimes do care a little bit if you had a "white collar" pre-law-school job, like consulting, ibanking, paralegal at a big firm or expert service, etc., grades and school being otherwise comparable -- but it does seem to basically match reality for law school admissions. Numbers will remain a primary driver as long as USNWR ranks schools based on them and as long as students keep caring what USNWR thinks. But it's been a number of years since I went through admissions, so some stuff might have changed, especially with schools taking the GRE now. FWIW, my pre-law-school job was also not traditionally "white collar" and I never got the sense that that affected my cycle.

lawschoolmonkey
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by lawschoolmonkey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:42 pm

thanks for following up @beep!

FYI - I did have "white collar" internship college experience.

Because I went to HYPSM, I was a feeder school for Wall Street/management consulting.

Thus, during my junior summer, I did a "summer analyst" internship at one of the Bulge Bracket Investment Banks/McKinsey/Bain/BCG.

I ultimately decided to not return full time because I wanted to go to law school and do something else - Peace Corps, TFA, etc. Except just LSAT prep got in the way of me diving into doing either.

Would doing a summer internship at a very prestigious investment banking/consulting firm (think of Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Bridgewater Investments, Boston Consulting Group) help make up for what firms look for in some "white collar" experience?

During my summer internship, I also had the opportunity to interact with their MBA's summer associates (mostly from Harvard and Wharton) as well as some BigLaw firm lawyers that did work for that company. So I got lots of "white collar" experience from that internship.

But it's been a few years since my junior college internship.

lawschoolmonkey
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by lawschoolmonkey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:42 pm

beep wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:31 pm
Conventional wisdom is that what you do between college and law school doesn't really matter. I'm not sure that's completely true -- my experience doing firm recruiting was that firms sometimes do care a little bit if you had a "white collar" pre-law-school job, like consulting, ibanking, paralegal at a big firm or expert service, etc., grades and school being otherwise comparable -- but it does seem to basically match reality for law school admissions. Numbers will remain a primary driver as long as USNWR ranks schools based on them and as long as students keep caring what USNWR thinks. But it's been a number of years since I went through admissions, so some stuff might have changed, especially with schools taking the GRE now. FWIW, my pre-law-school job was also not traditionally "white collar" and I never got the sense that that affected my cycle.
appreciate the follow up and feedback

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beep
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by beep » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:48 pm

lawschoolmonkey wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:42 pm
Would doing a summer internship at a very prestigious investment banking/consulting firm (think of Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Bridgewater Investments, Boston Consulting Group) help make up for what firms look for in some "white collar" experience?
Probably not. I mean, certainly it doesn't hurt, but there's a difference between being a summer intern and doing something as your full-time gig, and that difference is sort of the point of preferring white collar experience -- like, this wasn't something I personally valued a ton evaluating candidates, but to the extent I understood why some of my colleagues did, it was about developing a level of professionalism and understanding the type of quality work expected at those places, and to some extent client interaction. You might get some of that as an intern, but it's different from doing it as your real job for the medium- or long term. You also might not eve be listing a junior-year summer internship on your resume by the time you'd go through OCI -- I kept my one main pre-LS job and a volunteer experience and that was it.

lawschoolmonkey
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by lawschoolmonkey » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:48 pm

beep wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:48 pm

Probably not. I mean, certainly it doesn't hurt, but there's a difference between being a summer intern and doing something as your full-time gig, and that difference is sort of the point of preferring white collar experience -- like, this wasn't something I personally valued a ton evaluating candidates, but to the extent I understood why some of my colleagues did, it was about developing a level of professionalism and understanding the type of quality work expected at those places, and to some extent client interaction. You might get some of that as an intern, but it's different from doing it as your real job for the medium- or long term. You also might not eve be listing a junior-year summer internship on your resume by the time you'd go through OCI -- I kept my one main pre-LS job and a volunteer experience and that was it.
Thanks for the follow up!

I know about 20% of HLS and YLS are KJD. So in those cases, where the most work experience they have is summer internships in college, do things work out for them at OCI? How are those candidate evaluated?

With those without the traditional "white collar experience," how much would their professional experience in their 1l internship (say interning at USAO SDNY) make up for that? Are those without significant "white collar experience" at a much greater disadvantage, or is it just a small factor?

If you were to put a percentage on it, would it be like 50% which school you went to, 30% your 1L grades, and 20% your work experience (any prestigious i-banking or MBB consulting stuff)?

Thank you!

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beep
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by beep » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:59 pm

lawschoolmonkey wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:48 pm
beep wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:48 pm

Probably not. I mean, certainly it doesn't hurt, but there's a difference between being a summer intern and doing something as your full-time gig, and that difference is sort of the point of preferring white collar experience -- like, this wasn't something I personally valued a ton evaluating candidates, but to the extent I understood why some of my colleagues did, it was about developing a level of professionalism and understanding the type of quality work expected at those places, and to some extent client interaction. You might get some of that as an intern, but it's different from doing it as your real job for the medium- or long term. You also might not eve be listing a junior-year summer internship on your resume by the time you'd go through OCI -- I kept my one main pre-LS job and a volunteer experience and that was it.
Thanks for the follow up!

I know about 20% of HLS and YLS are KJD. So in those cases, where the most work experience they have is summer internships in college, do things work out for them at OCI? How are those candidate evaluated?

With those without the traditional "white collar experience," how much would their professional experience in their 1l internship (say interning at USAO SDNY) make up for that? Are those without significant "white collar experience" at a much greater disadvantage, or is it just a small factor?

If you were to put a percentage on it, would it be like 50% which school you went to, 30% your 1L grades, and 20% your work experience (any prestigious i-banking or MBB consulting stuff)?

Thank you!
It's less about percentages and more about stages of evaluation -- school and grades are still the primary drivers and get you the interview/callback. After you're there, it gets fuzzier and depends a lot on the individual lawyers evaluating you. Some will care a lot about how you came off in interviews. Others will discount that and rely on other stuff, like the quality of your work experience, your writing sample, etc. It's all a bit idiosyncratic so not easily reducible to X% Y% Z%. And I am sure others here who've had hiring experience may have totally different views on this stuff.

Anyway, this is all years off for you and not really something you can affect now -- I wouldn't worry about it at this stage at all.

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Nony
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by Nony » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:14 pm

I don't think you remotely need any kind of white collar job to get admitted to law school. College admissions consultant is fine, especially since you can honestly talk about the positives (fun/interesting, good money, flexible). I also don't think it will hurt you in recruiting; I think having had one of the traditionally prestigious white-collar gigs can help you with some employers, but I don't think not having one hurts, if that makes any sense. It can be proxy for professionalism/quality of work, but you can demonstrate those things in other ways, too. I think especially since you're interested in environmental law/regulation rather than the fields like finance/M&A that more traditionally value consulting/banking etc. experience, it's not going to be a particularly significant factor. There are tons of people who go into law school and succeed without that background.

The primary measure at OCI will be school and grades (what school you go to tends to determine what grades you need to be competitive, or if you're competitive at all). To the extent you can get a good reference out of 1L summer, that's great too. It's not really going to "make up" for any perceived lack in experience, mostly b/c virtually everyone get some kind of professional experience their 1L summer, but you're going to be fine. Again, lots of people succeed in law school without any kind of prestigious background at all. You at least have the HYPSM background, which some employers find appealing in itself.

app
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by app » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:35 pm

lawschoolmonkey wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:27 pm
Hey all,

So I'm a HYPSM (Harvard,Yale,Princeton,Stanford,MIT) recent college graduate, and I originally planned on spending a few months after college graduation to study full-time for the LSAT before I would join the Peace Corps or some kind of intensive full-time program.

Problem is, the LSAT did not come easy for me, and I ended up spending longer studying for it than I expected. I've taken it 4 times over the course of 2 years, and have finally hit around my goal score.

During those 2 years of studying for the LSAT, however, I did not have a "full-time" professional job-- like someone working full time as a Business Analyst at McKinsey (like many of my peers) or as a paralegal at a BigLaw firm.

The reason I did not choose to do such a "full time" professional job is because they are very demanding, often requiring 70+ hours a week. I was really struggling with my LSAT, and I could not see myself balancing a full-time demanding job with the rigors of LSAT studying (I know many do this, but given how bad I was at the LSAT and how slow a learner I was, I thought this would be REALLY hard, and would impede on my LSAT prep).

As a result, during these 2 years, I was self-employed and worked as a private admissions consultant for high school students - both in my area and through referrals, around the world. The money was good and far better than any retail job. I charged $75/hour for my clients and helped everything from writing their personal statements to crafting their resumes. The hours were flexible, the money was good, and the work was fun and interesting.

I was able to do this because I am a HYPSM college graduate, so I could sell myself on the "How to get into an Ivy League" story.

This has been my main source of income and my main "job" for the past 2 years. How would this "job" look like on my resume for law school admissions? Would law schools look down on this because it's not as "cool" or "traditional" as a full time paralegal job, or a job working as a consultant at McKinsey? Would it be a considered negative? Or just no effect?

My main interests and motivations in law are in environmental law and regulation, so what I did as private college admissions consultant was NOT related in any way to my story of "why law school?" so I don't see it related in any way when I write my personal statement on my passion in environmental law. It was just a way to make money and survive. Would that be seen as a negative?

My STORY (and what I hope to write my personal statement on) of how I got into environmental law are mostly based in my college internships/coursework (from a few years back), and not my work as a college admissions consultant.

Would that be ok?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Please do not quote.
can you say what your gpa, final lsat are? what was your major?

those are the main driving factors for admissions. imo your HYPSM is definitely going to help you. e.g if you were at mit in an engineering field it may slightly compensate for lower gpa even.

when you say 'private admissions consultant', do you mean with a admissions consulting company or your own? i assume you by yourself. i don't know if your admissions consulting experience is going to be helpful though as much. but as a net it shouldn't hurt you. there are plenty of students getting into H every year without _any_ work-ex so why should it yours hurt if not help?

it's interesting though that you decided to do admissions consulting after a stint of internship at a BB/consulting. i have almost never seen anyone do that coming from BB/consulting world, as apparently those are competitive enough for one to get something more traditionally prestigious once they graduate. if it was something like Mck, that can definitely help.

lawschoolmonkey
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by lawschoolmonkey » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:55 pm

@app

My GPA is 3.79, LSAT 178 (though multiple takes), and major english.

Basically, it was on my own consulting. The money is better, and there's no middle man taking a cut.

Yea I originally wanted to do an intensive full time fellowship after graduation (think Peace Corps in Ghana), but after I took my first LSAT (which I did horrible in), I realized I needed more time for LSAT and to take care of LSAT business first.

So I prioritized LSAT over prestigious work experience, because I knew I needed more time. And just the way I learn - I couldn't imagine myself juggling 70 hour weeks doing consulting with intensive LSAT prep. And i ended up taking the LSAT quite a few times lol.

I also prioritized LSAT because my GPA is lowish (25th percentile or lower for HYS), so I knew I needed a 75th percentile LSAT score to have a shot at those schools.

But it paid off - I got a 178. But yea I don't have the most exciting work experience or softs lol.

Any feedback or suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

Please don't quote too. Thanks.

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icechicken
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Re: With no traditional "full time job", how would being a self-employed college admissions consultant look like as a "j

Post by icechicken » Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:14 pm

It's not going to either hurt you or help you in a major way. Just put it on your résumé in the most favorable light you honestly can and move on.

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