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Should A Law Student Put His LSAT on His Resume?:

Bill Henderson and Jeff Stake discuss (in the comments). Dan Filler follows up.

When I was a law student at Yale, I initially did not put my LSAT score on my resume. However, as a first-year student, with all our grades pass/fail first semester, it quickly became apparent that the students who went to Yale, Harvard, Amherst and similarly prestigious schools for undergrad were getting Summer law firm jobs, and those of us who went to Brandeis, Trinity, Binghamton, etc.--schools with lesser brand names--were not. In other words, law firms seemed to be using undergraduate institution as the best available proxy for ability. Seeing that, and wanting to prove I was "no slouch", I put my LSAT on my resume. I probably wouldn't have done this if Yale had class rank or other objective measures of student performance, but, frankly, it seemed to help.

I also remember that when I was clerking, I interviewed a clerkship candidate who attended a good regional law school, and was at the top of her class. Did it influence me that her resume said "LSAT: 48" (the highest score at the time)? Yes, it did. My judge didn't normally hire from this law school, and I didn't know much about the quality of students or instruction there, but her LSAT score showed that she could have attended Harvard, had she so desired. That said, I'm sure some recruiters, especially those who did well in law school but did not have stellar LSATs, get offended when they see an LSAT score on a resume.

UPDATE: See also this post, discussing the trend of employers asking adult workers about their SAT scores from long ago.

anon123443131 (mail):
Has anyone ever actually seen this? it's unheard of.
3.27.2007 10:38pm
Ed in Florida:
Out of curiosity, is there any difference in the later job performance of a candidate who "did well" in law school, which I presume involves high grades, versus one with a stellar LSAT? Can you make a general statement about the desirability of a candidate based on those two factors?
3.27.2007 10:48pm
JohnO (mail):
As someone on the hiring committee at my firm, I can say that I would view an LSAT score on a resume the same way I would view someone listing their high school on their resume -- lame. I personally don't care how someone did on the LSAT and I don't care where you went to high school. Listing an LSAT score wouldn't just fail to help, but it would hurt you in my eyes.
3.27.2007 10:52pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Like I said, I'm sure some legal recruiters wouldn't like it.
3.27.2007 10:56pm
bellisaurius (mail):
I guess if you're gambling on something you would probably not get anyway, and you've got the numbers, it would have to be a good idea. There's nothing to lose. With a real choice, it sounds icky.
3.27.2007 11:28pm
David Walser:
Does it matter whether we are talking about a 1st year student or one about to graduate? By the time you've been through 2+ years of law school, I'd think your grades and other relevant items would distinguish you from other students more than your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. That's not necessarily the case for a 1st year student looking for a summer internship.
3.27.2007 11:33pm
blindgambit:
I saw it a couple of times on resumes I'd review while I was clerking, and it always struck me as kinda wierd. I find it hard to believe that many people do actually list their LSAT. Though, I do think recruiters often use undergrad or US New law school ranking as a proxy, and I can thus understand to some degree a desire to list an LSAT to prove your worth.
3.27.2007 11:35pm
Tennessean (mail):
Another danger, it seems to me, is that of the anomalously high score. That is, if you're at Good Regional School with a 180, you better have a resume that reflects incredible aptitude. Otherwise, I am going to (quite rationally) assume that there is something seriously wrong with you that you aren't presenting to me but that law schools (e.g., Harvard) were aware of.
3.27.2007 11:43pm
Legal Duckling:
I don't really see how an LSAT score is relevant. Do law firms really care whether someone is good at logic games? I got a 162, which placed me in the top 20% of students who took the exam at the same time as me. I graduated in the middle of my class at a decent, but relatively unknown law school. It seems to me that there wasn't much correlation between LSAT score and grades. At least not in my case. And it would seem that grades in law school are a much better indicator of someone's knowledge of the law and/or legal reasoning ability.
3.27.2007 11:48pm
Alex 2005 (mail):
I would really hope that as a law clerk you would have put much more emphasis in considering her writing sample, grades &class rank, and recommendations over her LSAT score. The basis for using her LSAT score as proxy for whether she would make (or even potentially make) a good clerk, i.e. principally a legal researcher and writer, escapes me at present. What the relationship is between a strong LSAT score and having those essential qualities is truly unclear to me.

What your anecdote does illustrate quite well is the typical (and pathetic) narrow-mindedness that both judges and law clerks are consistently guilty of when considering and interviewing clerkship applicants. In any event, judging by the product of the federal courts, judges might be well-advised to spend more time looking for candidates that can write clearly rather than focusing on mere credentials. All too many "strong candidates" (who might even end up as Sup. Ct. clerks or law profs someday) can't write a damn (Orin...you're a clear exception).
3.27.2007 11:56pm
Rex:
That is, if you're at Good Regional School with a 180, you better have a resume that reflects incredible aptitude. Otherwise, I am going to (quite rationally) assume that there is something seriously wrong with you that you aren't presenting to me but that law schools (e.g., Harvard) were aware of.

My thoughts exactly.
3.28.2007 12:13am
mistermark:
I'd ding someone for doing that if their resume crossed my desk. As stated above, lame.
3.28.2007 12:22am
Randy R. (mail):
"It seems to me that there wasn't much correlation between LSAT score and grades."

And yet, the LSAT is supposed to be a predictor of success in law school. Does this mean that it isn't accurate? If so, then why do schools continue to use it? We in fact KNOW that it isn't accurate, since top schools usually only admit students with top LSAT scores, only to have a bell curve weed everyone out.

My opinion is that it is indeed lame to put it on a resume. But if it's the only good thing you have, then you might as well.
3.28.2007 1:20am
I'm on a hiring committee, too (mail):
You heard it here, folks, if you're applying to Steptoe & Johnson, don't put your LSAT or high school on your resume.

While I wouldn't put my LSAT on my resume, my high school has come up in interviews and for whatever reason impressed interviewers. If you went to a high school with a national rep and the interviewer raises it in conversation, milk it. If you got a bunch of scholarships or awards and junk because of your LSATs or SATs, the number might come up. I mean, interviewers may start quizzing you about your opinion of the architecture at Yale after they raise the fact that you went there; by all means, don't shut down the conversation because it might be lame, elitist, or irrelevant. That's a bad interviewing technique.

And people mention all sorts of lame shit. I don't care about your love of the Yankees or that you used to work for the IRS. Or that you used to run a peanut farm. And I damn sure don't care about your decade of volunteer work in the jungle with retarded immigrant children blinded by malnutrition. And it isn't fascinating to grow up in the Midwest. No offense, but it's not a personality trait, it's where your mother's womb coughed you up. And travel is not an interest or a hobby. It's what you won't be doing if you get hired here, because you can't take vacations long enough to go anywhere worthwhile. I care that you like to get drunk at company events, that you don't have a boyfriend, and that you're slutty. We need more whores here, not more people with charisma, character, and stories to tell. Better hide that wedding ring, sweetheart.
3.28.2007 1:34am
Spartacus (www):
Related question: how long out of law school does it remain advisable to put any indication of grades at all on your resume?
3.28.2007 1:48am
Steve H (mail):
Another danger, it seems to me, is that of the anomalously high score. That is, if you're at Good Regional School with a 180, you better have a resume that reflects incredible aptitude. Otherwise, I am going to (quite rationally) assume that there is something seriously wrong with you that you aren't presenting to me but that law schools (e.g., Harvard) were aware of.

Seriously? That's pretty sad.

I would think that a person with a stellar LSAT who chose not to attend Harvard was someone who had a family, or who lacked thousands of dollars of discretionary income, or who simply wasn't willing to go through major personal or financial upheaval simply for the resume value of the word "Harvard."
3.28.2007 2:57am
Brian K (mail):
I'm on a hiring committee, too

Great post! It was the funniest one i've read in a long time.

--------

On an unrelated note, does anyone here know what an MD/JD does? Like is there a specific field of law that they usually go into? or do they just practice both separately? For example, I know most engineers if they go into law they go into patent law. Does an MD confer any benefits onto a laywer? I'm asking out of curiosity and i can't seem to find anything on the internet. haha...this seemed to be the best board out of any to ask.

Thanks, Brian
3.28.2007 5:44am
M:
Otherwise, I am going to (quite rationally) assume that there is something seriously wrong with you that you aren't presenting to me but that law schools (e.g., Harvard) were aware of.

Like what, GPA? The application process isn't exactly probing.

As Steve H said, the more rational assumption is that the person had personal or financial reasons for not attending a more prestigious school.
3.28.2007 6:15am
U.Va. 1L:
The LSAT score is on the resume, just not directly. Either it will be show through the law school you're attending and/or a prestigious scholarship you've listed. For example, you assume that if someone is at Yale they have an LSAT score in the 99.xth percentile. In that range, differences are marked by single questions on the LSAT. Even a perfect score isn't that meaningful given that someone with a 179 was just one question away. Maybe they both guessed on an answer an 180 got lucky and 179 didn't. Seriously, how meaningful is that? "This guy's score puts him in the 99.4 percentile but wow, this guy is in the 99.6 percentile. Let's hire him!" Give me a break.
3.28.2007 6:18am
FantasiaWHT:
I had an LSAT and undergrad GPA that would've put me somewhere in the middle 50% at Yale, but I live in the Milwaukee area with my family and had no desire to move so I attend Marquette Law School. I'm a 1L right now, would an LSAT score on my resume at this point be helpful, do you think? I sure wouldn't want people assuming there was something wrong with me.

I've been told no, but I've also been told to include my undergrad GPA. I'm curious why my GPA in my B.F.A in Music Education is relevant but my LSAT isn't.
3.28.2007 8:56am
Jeek:
If you went to a high school with a national rep and the interviewer raises it in conversation, milk it.

Such places exist?

Putting your high school on a resume once you are in grad school is even more lame than including your SAT / LSAT / GRE / whatever.
3.28.2007 9:02am
DJR:
DB,

Summer associate jobs for first years are almost entirely limited to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford students. Not having gone to one of those fine institutions, I can't speak to the competitiveness of the process, but I suspect that if you had widened your search you would have found a summer job regardless of putting your LSAT on your resume. Nevertheless, that may be the one time when the LSAT score is relevant, when there is almost literally no other information about you to put on the resume.

Beyond first semester of first year, the "A" in LSAT - aptitude - should come out in your grades. What difference is it if you scored a 180 if you're in the bottom 50% of your class? Putting your LSAT on your resume seems like touting your aptitude to make up for your lack of performance.

On the other hand, I personally would not ding a candidate simply for putting their LSAT on their resume, though I would view it mildly negatively in terms of judgment.

For those who profess categorical ding rules, imagine the following appeared on a candidate's resume: High School: Sidwell Friends; SAT 1600; Harvard College, A.B., Summa Cum Laude, History; LSAT 180; Harvard Law School Summa Cum Laude; Law clerk to Hon. D.H. Ginsburg; Law clerk to Hon. Anthony Kennedy. Still feel the need to ding?
3.28.2007 9:40am
Rousseau:
DJR: I don't see why not. It's not as if a candidate's being a Supreme Court clerk means I have to want to work with them.

(And in this instance, where the offending test scores provide almost precisely zero useful skill information, their inclusion is particularly egregious and perhaps highly indicative of attitude or social awareness.)
3.28.2007 10:13am
katieappliestocollege:

"[I]t quickly became apparent that the students who went to Yale, Harvard, Amherst and similarly prestigious schools for undergrad were getting Summer law firm jobs, and those of us who went to Brandeis, Trinity, Binghamton, etc.--schools with lesser brand names--were not."


This bothers me. I have been told that Harvard and Yale are not great for undergrad, that liberal arts schools like Trinity are better (of course Amherst would be ideal, but who can count on that?). How is a high school student supposed to make this decision?
3.28.2007 10:26am
Jeek:
imagine the following appeared on a candidate's resume: High School: Sidwell Friends; SAT 1600; Harvard College, A.B., Summa Cum Laude, History; LSAT 180; Harvard Law School Summa Cum Laude; Law clerk to Hon. D.H. Ginsburg; Law clerk to Hon. Anthony Kennedy.

The inclusion of the bolded elements suggests a certain degree of insecurity. If you went to Harvard and kicked ass, who cares about your LSAT, let alone your SAT and what high school you went to?
3.28.2007 10:31am
blindgambit:
Alex 2005- I think you misread my post. I specifically said I found it wierd to see LSAT scores, but could sympathize with people feeling the need to prove their worth (particularly if they went to a lower ranked school despite a high LSAT score for financial reasons).

I think your ad hominem attack on clerks and federal judges is uncalled for in this thread. I always took reviewing applications very seriously, particularly the writing sample. My judge did as well. We usually held 2-3 hour long interviews, plus lunch, with prospective clerks as well.
3.28.2007 10:52am
Alex 2005 (mail):
Blindgambit - I wasn't responding to your post (I hadn't read it until now). I also wasn't making an ad hominen attack on judges and law clerks (i.e., clerks and judges are idiots or loonies). It's also not an ad hominen attack to criticize one's written work product as being unclear or poorly written. Rather, I was attacking the process by which they frequently (or more often than not) screen candidates for clerkships. I also did not suggest that every judge or set of law clerks is guilty of such narrow-mindedness. My point was more that by using branding as a cutoff you arguably miss many worthwhile candidates. And in terms of the original post by DB, it is strange why one would use an LSAT score to distinguish among those that did not have the right brand versus using other (and I think better) available criteria to evaluate a prospective clerk.
3.28.2007 11:35am
Tyson (mail):
I was under the impression that the LSAT correlated to ability to pass the bar exam. In my experience, there is no correlation between law school grades and the LSAT, nor between legal aptitude in practice and the LSAT.

If my impression is correct, than putting your LSAT on your resume when you are close to graduating but have not yet taken the bar might give an interviewing committee a useful metric. Who wants to hire someone with a lower prospect of actually becoming a lawyer?
3.28.2007 11:35am
Dave N (mail):
Brian K asked what a person with an MD/JD does. I only have the JD, but I know a couple of MDs who are also JDs. Some teach; some change professions (in my experience the MD was earned first); some (like Michael Newdow)primarily use their medical degrees; some become expert witnesses.
3.28.2007 12:01pm
Cold Warrior:
Sad to say, but Dan Filler is absolutely correct.

I went to law school a few years after graduating from a well-respected liberal arts college. In the interim, I completed a graduate degree. In my field of study, the top programs were major public universities (Washington, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Berkeley), but (as in many academic disciplines) the name of the university didn't matter nearly as much as your personal relationship with established scholars and your research projects. When I applied to law school, I didn't do a whole lot of research into the school's reputation. I simply assumed that (as in my academic field) if I performed excellently in a recognized regional school opportunities would be there for me.

So I applied to exactly one law school, which happened to be in a place my girlfriend and I wanted to live. The terminology didn't exist back then, but today it would be considered a third-tier school. The school offered me a scholarship (based on my undergrad record and LSAT score -- a 45 on the old scale), so I enrolled.

I got a few interviews at larger regional firms for a first-year summer clerkship. From the nature of the questions, I quickly gathered that interviewers were curious: why did I go to this particular law school? There must have been something wrong with me that wasn't apparent from my resume. Could it be that even though I'd graduated from college with high honors and had received a fellowship for grad school I just wasn't, umm, that smart? I believe the trend continued in my second year. By that time grades were out and I ranked 2nd in my law school class. Still, I had the impression that there was a problem. The bias against law schools of my ilk was apparent. Part of it was that firms liked big-name schools; nothing I could do about that. But part of it was the old, "why would someone apparently qualified to go to a much better school choose not to."

So I did start putting my LSAT score on my resume. Maybe some employers were offended by it; those were exactly the sort of employers who would not have interviewed me anyway. And it seemed to work. I got more interest and (I think) less skepticism about my background. The LSAT score on my resume was simply code for something I couldn't put on my resume, namely: "I could've gone to a prominent law school, but I chose to go my school instead based on personal and financial (the scholarship, which was also on my resume) reasons." I wound up getting a DOJ clerkship my second year. In my division/branch at DOJ, I worked alongside students from Harvard, Chicago, UT, and Boalt -- all much higher ranked programs than mine. And thus embarked on a career in government. Was my LSAT score the deciding factor? Who knows? But it certainly didn't hurt.

And so I would encourage all of you third-tier law students with high (90th percentile or so; nobody wants to know that you scored slightly above average) LSAT scores to use them on your resume. Or try an experiment: list your LSAT score on some of your submissions, but not on others. And at the risk of being offensive: if you are a member of an under-represented minority group and you have a high LSAT score (my wife's situation), you might also consider putting your LSAT score on your resume to counterract the inevitable "she's an affirmative action acceptance" bias.

Resumes are filled with code. Prep school? It says "I'm from a wealthy family." And really, why would anyone list their high school (prep school) on their resume unless they wanted to transmit such a coded message. "Member of African American Student Association?" Speaks for itself. "President of ____ Fraternity?" I'm a back-slapping, country-club aspiring kind of guy. "National Merit Scholar?" Code for "I did really well on the SAT."

So you LSAT-includers will run into criticism from those who think only certain codewords are acceptable on resumes and others aren't. But in a world in which employers get hundreds or thousands of resumes, nearly all of which are from basically qualified applicants, coded speech says it all. Everyone has different biases. I see "Andover" and "Yale" on the same resume and I think "probably a legacy admission;" i.e., not as smart as the typical Yale student. Fair? No. Real? Yes.
3.28.2007 12:16pm
Nathan75 (mail):
This was a real dilemma for me.

late in my Ph.D. program and late in the year (i.e. the middle of August) I decided to go to law school. I'd taken the LSAT a couple years prior and received a score in the 99th percentile. obviously it was too late to apply anywhere highly ranked (nor was I really familiar with the fact that it is virtually impossible to get a big firm NY job (where I wanted to eventually (and do now) reside) without a top-15 J.D.
a second-tier school offered me a full ride (even though it was two weeks before classes started!) based upon my LSAT (and academic record).
you can bet that every summer interview I had after that year I brought up my LSAT...what I agonized over was whether to put it on my resume.
I often wonder if I should have in fact done so.

of course....after being second in my class as a 1L...I stopped going to class and steadily tanked down to a mediocre class rank upon graduation...but anyway...
3.28.2007 12:16pm
Mark Field (mail):

I was under the impression that the LSAT correlated to ability to pass the bar exam.


According to an article in Science magazine within the last month or so, the correlation between LSAT and bar passage is .3.
3.28.2007 12:20pm
blindgambit:
Alex 2005-

Sorry. Since your original post appeared to touch upon issues raised in my original post and was right below it, I viewed it as a response.

I guess I can still see prospective clerks putting in LSAT scores to fend off "branding." In my particular case, I went to a top 25 school for financial/personal reasons even though I was accepted at two top 5 schools. I'm sure that if I had NYU or Columbia written under my name, I would have gotten more consideration from certain circuit judges. So, I can see the temptation to put on my high LSAT score to say "I could be at Yale/Harvard, etc, I just have reasons not to be."

I do agree there are much better ways to pick clerks, but I think the new clerkship hiring rules cramp the process and encourage judges to make preliminary cuts solely by looking at what law school someone attended.
3.28.2007 12:35pm
davidbernstein (mail):
Note, I never said that I ONLY looked at the applicant's LSAT score. I said only that I found this to be relevant information that in context helped the applicant.
3.28.2007 1:00pm
blindgambit:
Yes, that's how I'd view it too, particularly since I sometimes felt in the same boat. It was wierd to see listed, but in some instances it let me say- I should look further at this person (whom I normally would not look further at b/c of their school) to see why they might have gone to State U instead of an Ivy.
3.28.2007 1:18pm
Tyson (mail):

According to an article in Science magazine within the last month or so, the correlation between LSAT and bar passage is .3.


Were there any other factors that had a higher correlation? If a correlation of 1 means that LSAT scores and bar passage are perfectly correlated, then a .3 correlation seems fairly strong to me.

More importantly, if the perception is that LSAT scores and bar passage rates are strongly correlated, then putting a high score on your resume would still be a good idea. I admit that I do not know if that perception is widely held.
3.28.2007 1:48pm
John Fee (mail):
There was a guy at my law school who had a custom license plate "LSAT 47" on his car.
3.28.2007 1:56pm
Cold Warrior:
O.K., now you have to tell us:

What kind of car was it?
3.28.2007 2:20pm
DJR:
Jeek,

I agree. As I said, I would view it somewhat negatively, in the sense that it indicates the possibility of poor judgment, arrogance, and insecurity, but I would not automatically ding the person. The point I was trying to make is that those who say "I would automatically ding a candidate for that" should not make such hasty decisions, because even the most sterling candidate might take some advice about his or her resume with which you disagree.

The "I would automatically ding someone for that" mentality surely helps people get through stacks of resumes more quickly, but ensure only fewer candidates to choose from, not better candidates to choose from.
3.28.2007 2:22pm
JohnO (mail):
To be clear, my view that listing your LSAT score is lame is my view only, and not necessarily the view of others at my firm or at other firms. A few other posters made comments about listing high schools on resumes, discussing high schools during interviews, and other "irrelevant" resume information like hobbies and favorite sports teams.

Although I think it's poor form for a law student to list their high school on the resume, if a student is from the local area, I might ask where they went to high school. The answer doesn't really matter, but it's part of a process of finding soemthing to talk about to determine if the candidate can carry on a conversation. When I was looking for a job, I never would have put hobbies on my resume, but as an interviewer, I love it because it gives me some ideas of things we can just shoot the bull about to see how the candidate carries on a conversation. The problem with listing a high school, in my mind, is that, sure, it can be a conversation starter, but it too often seems designed to convey "I'm important because my high school was prestigious," when more often it really means "my parents are rich."
3.28.2007 2:27pm
Mark Field (mail):

Were there any other factors that had a higher correlation? If a correlation of 1 means that LSAT scores and bar passage are perfectly correlated, then a .3 correlation seems fairly strong to me.


The particular chart only showed the relationship between bar passage and LSAT. Whether .3 is high or low depends on who you ask. An engineer would laugh at it. A social scientist would consider it respectable but not great.
3.28.2007 2:37pm
Colin (mail):
How often was it keyed?
3.28.2007 2:55pm
CrosbyBird:
I had a very high LSAT (176/99.7%) to go along with my lousy law school GPA and never thought it would help me in the job search. In my interview, my boss asked where I was ranked in class and I said roughly bottom quarter. Then he asked my LSAT score and percentile. I still don't think it helped me get this particular job, and I am still afraid that it would do more harm than good on my resume.

My high LSAT hasn't been a great windfall yet. If anyone knows of a lucrative job that uses the otherwise unimportant ability to crush standardized tests as a primary criterion for employment, please let me know. Because I haven't found it yet.

I wouldn't be surprised if LSAT score correlated better than anything else with bar passage, because of the time issue. My experience is that many people that struggle with either exam have issues with finishing within the allotted time. My experience has been that there is a strong correlation between performing well on exams of any type other than an essay exam and finishing early. In fact, I think that's part of the problems I had with law school exams; I was used to exams where the average person has difficulty finishing and I would scoring highly by just being faster.
3.28.2007 3:38pm
wooga:
Cold Warrior sounds like my twin.
I applied to just one law school, in my hometown, which waved most of the application paperwork and gave me a free ride. My undergrad GPA and LSAT were higher than some of my undergrad buddies who went to top 20 law schools, including Harvard. I was the first lawyer in my family, and as far as I knew, law was like medicine and your school name wasn't that important (oh how wrong I was!). However, events changed in my life, and I decided to practice outside of my home region.

I put my LSAT down. I got interviews, and people asked about it. It allowed me to explain why I went to po-dunk law school.

LSAT scores don't correlate to law school grades. I did acceptably as a 1L, but superbly as a 2L, once I realized that the "A" in IRAC stood not for "analysis," (which I thought meant in depth discussion) but rather just "a brief transition sentence between your Rule and Conclusion, which begins with the word 'Because'."

I would like to see LSAT scores on resumes from applicants, not because the score is an indicator of bar passage or law school grades, but rather because it is a direct indicator of the person's ability to recognize logical patterns. I can teach a new associate how to write and research, but I cannot teach them logic. The law school is generally unimportant, since the rankings are completely irrelevant to the quality of the education (see the other thread where I point out that USC has the same bar pass rate as USD, even though they are ranked 70 spots apart).
3.28.2007 3:58pm
Nathan75 (mail):
CrosbyBird sounds like my twin. I too am looking for that job. And he/she is right, it's speed that makes all the difference...specifically, I think it's reading comprehension speed that has served me well on every standardized test...(and it helps in the real life practice of law as well)

law school exams, on the other hand, primarily test one's willingness to state the obvious...at length.
3.28.2007 5:04pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):

For those who profess categorical ding rules, imagine the following appeared on a candidate's resume: High School: Sidwell Friends; SAT 1600; Harvard College, A.B., Summa Cum Laude, History; LSAT 180; Harvard Law School Summa Cum Laude; Law clerk to Hon. D.H. Ginsburg; Law clerk to Hon. Anthony Kennedy. Still feel the need to ding?


Let's see. The Kennedy clerkship means that I've read some of the candidates work and not been impressed.

Harvard x 2: We are picking up some strikes very quickly.

The SAT and LSAT scores would only drive it over the top.

Yeah, I would ding this candidate.
3.28.2007 6:47pm
Cold Warrior:
Interesting comments. Interesting, but not unexpected.

Most of the "pro-LSAT on my resume" crowd aren't exactly thrilled to be doing so. We were driven to it in an attempt to dispel what we think is a pervasive bias against students at our respective law schools.

Most of the "anti-LSAT score on my resume" crowd think the LSAT thing is rather tacky; then again, they've never felt that pervasive bias against students of their "top tier" schools.

Prof. Bernstein, who started all of this, would probably notice this among GMU students. When GMU was kind of a provincial school -- an afterthought in the DC legal market -- I imagine lots of smart GMU students put their LSAT scores on their resumes. Today? They wouldn't feel the need to ...
3.28.2007 6:51pm
Brian K (mail):
Thanks Dave N.
3.28.2007 8:21pm
On a hiring committee, too, again (mail):
I wouldn't put a high school on a resume, or SATs or LSATs. But they come up in conversation sometimes, and generally you shouldn't spit in your interviewer's face.

But feel free to spit away.
3.28.2007 9:50pm
A.S.:
That is, if you're at Good Regional School with a 180, you better have a resume that reflects incredible aptitude. Otherwise, I am going to (quite rationally) assume that there is something seriously wrong with you that you aren't presenting to me but that law schools (e.g., Harvard) were aware of.

Wouldn't the assumption be that you had a great LSAT and a bad undergrad GPA, so could only get into Good Regional School? I had a terrible undergrad GPA (bottom quarter of my class in college) but scored very highly on my LSAT (179). I happened to get into one (and only one) of the top 15 law schools, but got into a few Good Regional Law Schools. I would object to the characterization that there was "something seriously wrong with [me]" - I just had a college major that, it turned out, wasn't really for me. Do you think that's a much less likely story for a firm than that the person has something seriously wrong with them?
3.29.2007 12:27am
jallgor (mail):
I put it on when i was a first year. I don't see why it's any less/more relevant than your undergrad GPA and that's a pretty common thing to include. After you have some law school grades to put on the resume I think it's time for the LSAT to go.
To the guy on the Steptoe &Johnson hiring committee: I got a chuckle out of your post but you better hope nobody from your firm (if you really work there) reads this blog or you may not be on the hiring committee or employed for very long.
As an aside, I personally like to see interests or non-legal experience on a resume. Quite frankly, the law is really boring and talking about it for 20 or 30 minutes with someone who doesn't even practice yet is even worse. I'd much rather hear about your last trip to Vegas.
3.30.2007 11:02am