Eng Student applying for LawSchool

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lawbull335
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:23 pm

Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby lawbull335 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:01 am

I am an engineering student and I am planning to go to law school. I'm really interested in patent/technology law. How are my chances affected, in any sense, by being an engineer? My GPA (in the range of 3.0-3.5, midway) is quite low, however, to even get that is an achievement in itself. Will law schools bump up my GPA because my courseload was so rigorous? And if so, any idea of how much?

Secondly, my RC section is my weakest. In college, all i've been doing are math, science and engineering problems. My emphasis has not been reading, which I feel puts me at a disadvantage in a sense. Any chance law schools will take any of these into consideration when viewing my app? in a beneficial way? Lastly, I'm not finishing all 4 passages in 35 minutes, any suggestions to increase speed?

Thank you for your time.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:50 pm

Re: Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:26 am

While law school admissions folks will definitely recognize the fact that it's not a cakewalk to get a 3.5 in engineering, they probably won't give you too much leeway for it, unfortunately. They'll look at your major, just like they'll look at your undergraduate school...but at the end of the day, they put the majority of their opinion of your undergraduate performance into that simple GPA number, no matter where you went or what you studied.

And, as far as the LSAT goes, I can almost guarantee that they won't even look at what you got on each section -- they'll just check the final number. They certainly won't care that you haven't done much reading in college; that isn't "their problem". The LSAT is intended to measure, amongst other things, your preparedness for law school, so from the perspective of an AdCom, they're not going to cut you any slack for not being required to do a lot of reading in undergraduate school.

I would recommend going over to this site's LSAT forum for LSAT advice...there's lots of great info floating around. I, too, had trouble finishing all four sections at first. The best thing you can do is practice, practice, practice, practice. And if Reading Comprehension is your worst section, take a lot of time over the next many months to do more reading on a daily basis. Read fairly dense material -- the Economist, for example. The LSAC gets many of its passages from that magazine, actually.

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BigFatPanda
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:47 am

Re: Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby BigFatPanda » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:47 am

With respect to your GPA: as long as you're above 3.0, you should be fine. So here is the breakdown:
-170+ LSAT will get you into UVA, U-Mich-Ann Harbor, Georgetown (Apply PT just to be sure). If you have work experience, maybe at Northwestern. Definitely UT and probably UCLA or USC (Sorry dude, Berkeley will burn your application and send it to hell as soon as they see your GPA. Unless you've won the Medal of Honor or you're a reformed gang member).
-166+ will get you into Fordham, UIUC, Washington U in St. Louis, George Washington in DC, U-Minn Twin City, William and Mary and etc.
-162-165 will get you into George Mason, American, Cardozo et al.
-155-162 will get you into Chicago Kent, Santa Clara et al.
-150-155, various state schools.
-<150, there is just no way an engineer can get that low. If that happens, apply to Ethopia University School of Law at Addis Abbaba or Voodoo School of Law in Salem, Mass.

For reading comprehension, i had a lot of problems with this when i did my LSAT, i spend like 6 month going from pretest 56 to pretest 7 and then back up to pretest 56 to get the RC and i still got like 5/6 wrong on the real thing. Brute force works, sometimes.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:56 am

BigFatPanda wrote:With respect to your GPA: as long as you're above 3.0, you should be fine. So here is the breakdown:
-170+ LSAT will get you into UVA, U-Mich-Ann Harbor, Georgetown.


This is ridiculously inaccurate.

ughOSU
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby ughOSU » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:59 am

lawbull335 wrote:My GPA (in the range of 3.0-3.5, midway) is quite low, however, to even get that is an achievement in itself. Will law schools bump up my GPA because my courseload was so rigorous? And if so, any idea of how much?

:roll:

e: also, bigfatpanda's advice is pretty far off-base.

bree
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby bree » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:00 pm

As an engineering student now in law school, I'd say it helps but only marginally. Perhaps a 0.1 boost to the GPA if you wanted a number? Being an engineering student is a soft factor like another. By itself, it won't get you into school but maybe if they are trying to decide between you and someone else it'll push you over the top.

In terms of the engineering curriculum helping in law school, I have mixed feelings about that. Some people will tell you that the "logical" mindset that comes with being an engineer translates well to studying law. Others will say that because your work as an engineer was significantly lacking in any sort of writing, you're screwed next to the English major who's spent four years learning how spin a well-written piece of literature.

The problem is that there aren't enough engineers to get a broad consensus. Instead, it matters a lot more on the individual.

I do think as far as job prospects go, being an engineer is terrific plus to law firms if you're interested in patent law. You'll probably have options in patent law that your humanities/social science major classmates wouldn't have. Your grades in law school, while they still need to be decent, probably don't need to be as good. This is especially true if you're going into patent prosecution (which usually requires some science/engineering degree). It's less true of patent litigation. Be prepared though for being asked why you switched from engineering to law. You're going to get this question a million times from a million different people. Might as well start practicing your answer now :P.

Best of luck.

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englawyer
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Re: Eng Student applying for LawSchool

Postby englawyer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:39 pm

haha, you will definitely be asked the engineering-> law question, especially be admission committee members.

OP, i would recommend getting your GPA up as high as possible if you are still in school. I also think it helps IP prospects if you work as an engineer for a while after undergrad (say 2 years) before applying, as the inventors and companies like to ensure the lawyers actually understand the technology.

What type of engineering are you studying? EE is the best.




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