pattymac wrote:I studied Sociology and Criminology.
It's a highly venerated program at my UG, believe it or not. It's intensely rigorous. I took it for two reasons: a) I live in a blue collar city with no business and no corporations, so I thought if law school fell through I could land a quick job with customs, CSIS, the police force, the parole office or the federal police (which I did) and b) it was like English. I went one day in the English program, the prof asked me the last book I read which I answered "The Fountainhead", which shocked everyone in the room, who had finnished the latest Harry Potter. Wasn't my forte.
I do regret taking crim though. It did serve its purpose, and I did polish my writing skills. But my program has a very, very, very harsh curve (as I've stated here a few times, 2 kids with an average greater than 3.5 out of 180). I worked 60 hours a week and had 20 page papers due that required 40 sources. Each class had three to four hundred pages of reading a week. Every class had a 2 and a half hour presentation. Every class had a final exam that was a three thousand word essay. It was hectic.
I regret it more so because of the experience though. For me, crim wasn't about doing something law related before law school; it was brushing up my writing and oral speaking skills. For my classmates, it was about being a lawyer completely, when the course had nothing to do with it. I went to school w/ a ton of people who thought they were already lawyers and I went to school with an absolute ton of unethical pricks as well, who are the next generation of police and parole officers. We talked about why people hate lawyers in society and I said "well, a lot of this obviously comes from the United States, but what most people don't realize is that the average lawyers make $40,000 a year and take on a more than six figure of debt, it's not all about criminals and keeping guilty people out of jail while cashing out at top dollar, they do other things"...to which one of my classmates responded 'its not that expensive in Canada!' I wanted to jump out of my seat. Another kid raised his hand and said "Maybe we need something in place to you know, keep them under control, like they could get fired at any time if they break the law...or maybe we could teach them more ethics."
I'd disagree that CS or Sociology don't give a degree that allow you to think critically. We looked at a LOT of different reasons why crime persists from a ton and a ton of different angles.
Yeah, but the problem I have seen is that most CJ majors don't question the material that they learn. Many take everything they learn at face value which is a bad idea. Like I said, there is a huge difference between causation and correlation, and most CJ student don't seem to understand the fundamental difference.
So while they may learn a million different theories, they're questioning the logic of very few of them. I know many who think that just because most blacks commit crimes that being black makes you more likely to commit crime, when in fact the stronger correlation exists between crime and one's community, and it just so happens that most blacks reside in lower class communities. There is no intrinsic propensity to commit crime due to race though (or at least research has failed to prove so beyond all doubt). I've seen CJ majors stumble over simple logic like this time and time again.
I agree that if you are a cynical individual, CJ will do wonders for you when it comes to the LSAT and law school. But if you are the type that thinks everything you read in a book or hear your professor say is right, you're probably doomed for failure.