Law School?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by donga, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. donga macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    #1
    Hey everyone (first post ever!), I was looking for advice for law school. I'm currently a senior at the University of Arizona with degrees in molecular and cellular biology and psychology, and decided I don't really want to pursue med school or epidemiology and was considering law school and/or m.p.h. in health policy and management.

    So questions: What's law school like? Have any advice for the application process? How did you prep for the LSAT?

    My plan is to join the peace corps after ug, then apply to law school after that. Any advice/suggestions/etc. would be awesome. Thanks!
     
  2. crdean1 macrumors 6502a

    crdean1

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Pay extra and go to a good school. Make excellent grades. That will count the most in you being employed at a good salary at a stellar firm or corp.

    LSAT: you can always order last year's test and study that, or take a course (recommended). Your LSAT and undergrad GPA and course load will be a major determining factor in your being accepted to school.

    Good Schools:
    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/law/brief/lawrank_brief.php

    Welcome and good luck.
     
  3. applegirl macrumors regular

    applegirl

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    In Cancun. Be back never.
    #3
    Having taken the LSAT myself, I can tell you they are tough if you've had no preparation. Spend a little extra money and take a prep course because you won't learn anything from LSAT books. Logic courses really help with analytical reasoning.

    Most law schools take GPA and LSAT score into consideration, but they're more likely to accept you if you come from a tier 2 school and have a mediocre GPA and stellar LSAT than if you go to a top school with great GPA and crummy LSATs. LSAT is worth more than you think.

    Also, make sure to get your app in as early as possible, most law schools have rolling admissions, but the December test puts you late in the application cycle when a lot of the seats have been filled and competition is fierce.

    If you want to know more about how law school itself is, I recommend the book "Planet Law School". It's pretty good at giving you the lowdown.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  4. donga thread starter macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
  5. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #5
    some law schools look at the lsat the most, some look at gpa the most and the better the reputation of the school, the better one's chances...shoot for at least a 3.0 gpa and a 150 on the lsat, 160 greatly broadens your chances, and 170 is almost a ticket to ride (with a good gpa though)

    the average lsat class (kaplan for instance) generally ups one's lsat score 15 points...going in cold to the lsat is not good...my cold lsat score was a 144, a full 6 points below the aba school average...prep class should put be into the high 150s which would be good enough for me since i am not, at my age in my 40s, shooting for stanford and leaving me in a situation where i may not live long enough to pay off all the loans, with interest ;)

    the lsat does not measure intelligence or aptitude and the only way to get a good score is to practice it over and over...the local law school where i live had a phd take the test and score a dismal 120 on the lsat...the test is hard and unlike any test out there...so prepare for the lsat in the context of the lsat and not the sat, gmat, or iq test

    if you have the time and independence, be willing to go to the best school you get accepted to, no matter where you have to move to and no matter what it will cost...if you are young, you will have a lot of years to make money and pay off the student loans

    if you can't move and you are busy with work and/or family, then study online or part time (4 years instead of 3 in that case) if your state bar association allows you to and get the best law school you can find in that context

    the best law schools are both aba accredited and regionally accredited and if you think you might move to another state in your working life, then only be concerned with an aba accredited school so you can take the bar in all 50 states, pr, and dc

    and to cover all bases, if you think you have to move out of the usa, to the uk or canada *or one of many british commonwealths for instance, then get a dual jd/llb degree like i am considering

    i hope this helps
     
  6. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #6
    I'm thinking about law school myself -- which means getting ready for the LSAT. To that end, I'm starting out with LSAC PrepTests; I can always take a class if I don't think I'm going to be able to clear 160.
     
  7. Jon'sLightBulbs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    Trust me...

    WARNING! Law school sucks. Stay as far away as you can. Unless you're some kind of sadomasochist looking to give three years of your life to unending, amorphous reading. Full time.

    p.s. We're expecting you.
     
  8. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #8
    he he...then what about the next thirty years that follow that?
     
  9. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #9
    I'm not sure what to say about law school. I have four+ months left and I am incredibly happy to be done. Beyond the miserable administration, incompetent student organizations, and idiot professors, there are a few hidden gems among the professors and students that have made my time tolerable. I have some friends that I will stay in contact with for the rest of my career. But, honestly, if I had it to do over again I would have gotten an MBA.

    By the way, I go to the University of Maryland.
     
  10. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #10
    congrats,

    plus what real skill does an mba give anybody anyway? to be a lawyer you need a law education so that will limit the amount of people eligible to practice law, but to be a businessperson, no formal education is required and anybody can rise to middle manager or entrepreneur
     
  11. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #11
    I plan to go to law school too. I plan to take the LSAT next summer (I'm a junior in my uni now). When do you guys suggest I start studying? And is a course really necessary? It'll be a pain in the ass to go off-campus for a course, and as I'm deaf I'll have to ask for an interpreter and stuff. A general PIA...
     
  12. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #12
    I think the MBA is more of a guaranteed ticket to money. Any regular schmoe can make money creating a business, but many fail. An MBA says "this person knows something basic about business administration, so he won't destroy your established company." Businesses that are going to hire MBAs make lots of money, so the MBA-holders make money.
     
  13. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #13
    depending on how you do on the older LSATs, you might not need a class. My friend and I both did well enough on one that we decided not to take a class. He studied on his own, I meant to. Both our scores were lower, but still decent. One thing I found helpful were these 'logic game' magazines (they are like crossword puzzle magazines). I can't remember who publishes them, but you can probably ask your pre-law advisor for information. but, don't go there for much else. Mine was the chair of the Pre-Law Advisor Counsil (or something like that), and utterly useless - I'd hate to meet a 'lesser' advisor.
     
  14. iBS23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #14
    They suck too.

    Here's one practicing attorney's thoughts (this could get long):

    Law School: It really isn't that bad. I tend to agree with the comments by NBS2 that the administration sucks, the profs are arrogant fools (with a few exceptions) , and most of your classmates will make you puke. Its a TON of reading and a TON of writing (this doesn't change once you're in practice). I found that the people who had the hardest time with law school were the people who had never gotten a grade lower than an A in their life. Remember most schools have forced curves in classes above some number of students (all of your first year classes will fit here). This means that there will be people who get D's and C's. Many people will tell you that the stress of law school will give you nightmares for the rest of your life. In all, it will be three of the worst years of your life -- not because the subject matter is difficult, but because of the people and the stress it places you under.

    LSAT: In most cases its your ticket to a good school. I would recommend taking an old version and see how you do. If you do fine on that, you probably don't need to study. I took an old one and scored 165, didn't study after that and got a 169 on the actual test. YMMV.

    Specialization: Don't make the mistake of specializing in law school. Too many of my classmates specialized in business law and have had a hard time finding jobs. The job market right now sucks, and specializing hurts your ability to find jobs. Plus, you never know when a concept for one area of law might make for an interesting argument in another. Exception: IP law.

    Life as an Attorney: One of the partners in my firm says that the practice of law is "a hard way to make a good living." And remember that in many cases your "good living" really isn't much better than it would be if you were in any other profession. Yes, there are people who makes millions in contingent fee cases, and big forms will pay hundreds of thousands a year, but if you look at the median income for lawyers -- it isn't as impressive as you might expect. Also, take some time and talk to attorneys. The vast majority of them will tell you that they probably would not go to law school if they did it all again. This should tell you something.

    Final thought: NBS2 is absolutely correct. If you are thinking about law school I strongly suggest entering a joint degree program that will give you something other than a law degree when you're done. Marquette (my school) offered a JD/MBA joint program that took 4 years. The extra year would be worth it to have some more flexibility once you're in the real world.

    If you have any specific questions, I'm happy to answer them here, or in a PM.
     

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