The Most Important Thing You Need To Get Into Harvard Law

Harvard Law students

The Most Important Thing You Need To Get Into Harvard Law

If you want to get into Harvard Law, you might want to spend some time working in the real world.

In a new interview with The Harvard Crimson, Kristi Jobson, Harvard Law assistant dean for admissions and chief admissions officer, says that in recent years most Harvard Law applicants have at least one year of work experience under their belt.

“One thing that we continue to be interested in, for your reference, is work experience,” Jobson tells The Harvard Crimson. “When I was a 1L, my class was almost 60 percent straight from college. It’s almost a flip of what it used to be.”

The Shift In Law School Admissions

Today’s class is almost entirely different than when Jobson applied to law school. For instance, 82% of this year’s incoming first-year class has at least one-year work experience under their belt.

In the eyes of Harvard Law admissions officers, students who come into law school with work experience are more likely to excel than those who don’t.

“What the school as a whole would begin to recognize was that individuals with work experience outperformed their peers on most any measure — academic performance in law school, leadership outside the classroom, job opportunities that were available to them,” Jobson tells The Harvard Crimson.

Highlighting Skills

It’s not so much the type of work that matters but the skills you learned and the experiences that you went through that do.

According to Daniel Waldman, a contributor at US News and law school admissions counselor, applicants should emphasize whatever work experience they have.

“Anything from jobs before or during college, through summer internships and teaching or research assistant positions, to leadership positions held while in school, such as chairing the prelaw society or holding mentorship roles, should be put on your law school resume and highlighted as much as possible,” Waldman writes.

Waldman suggests that applicants try to integrate their work experiences into their personal statement.

“More importantly, doing so would provide specific examples of meaningful events you were a part of, displaying diligence, maturity and leadership – all skills that schools value and one of the reasons they encourage applicants to have work experience in the first place,” Waldman writes.

Sources: The Harvard Crimson, US News