Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

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nealric
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby nealric » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:29 am

He did well for being brain dead.


I'm not so sure about that. Won't random guessing get you to a 130 or so?


I think most of the problem with CJ majors and the LSAT is that most higher-end schools don't offer CJ as a major. My guess is that people taking the LSAT with the CJ major are disproportionately from schools with lower SAT averages, and are less likely to be good standardized test takers.

however, everyone should take symbolic logic, regardless of what your major is


Philosophy FTW!

cartercl
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby cartercl » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:46 pm

nealric wrote:
He did well for being brain dead.


I'm not so sure about that. Won't random guessing get you to a 130 or so?


I think most of the problem with CJ majors and the LSAT is that most higher-end schools don't offer CJ as a major. My guess is that people taking the LSAT with the CJ major are disproportionately from schools with lower SAT averages, and are less likely to be good standardized test takers.

however, everyone should take symbolic logic, regardless of what your major is


Philosophy FTW!


Well, I actually got a scholarship as a freshman based on my ACT score and was initially a biology major. After making a string of Bs in my core classes however, I gave up on being a doctor and talked to the pre-law adviser at my university about the best major for law. She mistakenly told me CJ because "it has everything to do with the law." If I knew then what I know now, I would've told that lady (in the words of the old school Degeneration X) to "suck it!"

OmbreGracieuse
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby OmbreGracieuse » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:11 pm

merichard87 wrote:
OmbreGracieuse wrote:Anyone a criminal justice major? Think it made a difference in your app process, or made you stand out in any way?


And to return to the OP's original post, why would CJ make you stand out?


I didn't mean stand out in a positive way. I was looking more to see if it had hurt anyone.

I am a CJ major; my school doesn't offer a pre-law degree, or I might have considered that. I took CJ because it wasn't offered. I wanted to balance out being a lawyer with more of the criminal investigation side of things. I thought knowing the inside scoop on how police officers work and how they are supposed to, would give me great insight insofar as what I would be looking at- and into- later. I really enjoy my classes; I understand the role officers play in all kinds of situations, and what they can- and can't- get away with. I feel like that is important in terms of the law. I don't know; I thought it would be fun, and I really have learned a lot. :) I know it isn't necessarily advised now, but didn't know if it had hurt anyone.

As far as the CJ student stereotype; I've been in classes with all walks of life. Not many people with a CJ degree plan to do anything post-college-degree. Then again, there are some just like me. :)

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merichard87
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby merichard87 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:16 pm

Well thank goodness they didnt have a pre-law degree. But I think for a person who knows where they are trying to go in law a CJ degree won't hurt you. But law schools do get bombarded with CJ majors so it definitely won't make you stand out.

pattymac
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby pattymac » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:40 pm

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.

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merichard87
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby merichard87 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:51 pm

I can only speak for my UG but I know for damn sure none of the CJ courses offered here are anything like the courses you just described and I would think that Criminology and CJ are 2 different majors as far as work load and depth of material.

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KevinP
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby KevinP » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:14 pm

Regarding CJ majors scoring poorly on the LSAT:
http://xkcd.com/552/

cartercl
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby cartercl » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:34 pm

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.

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merichard87
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby merichard87 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:27 pm

cartercl wrote:
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.


Cartercl, I like you. Good Job!

goodolgil
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby goodolgil » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:26 pm

I took a criminology class and thought it was pretty fascinating and relatively rigorous. I don't know if Criminology and CJ are the same thing though, and neither CJ or Crim were majors at my school (it was a sociology class).

EDIT: I actually think what makes some people look down on "Criminal Justice" is that the name has a very unacademic ring to it. The "justice" aspect of it makes it sound like applied teaching, which is contrary to what most traditional academic programs are about. I may be way off on that though.

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MoS
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby MoS » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:54 pm

My guess is that CJ is looked at as a very soft major. Also it has the problem that pre-law does, in the way that admissions committee and some professors in general view it as an added difficulty because they have to re-teach what you have already learned. But I am sure you have a solid GPA and LSAT and don't dwell on you major and how much you know about law already in you PS, it makes no difference. It has not wow factor like a physics degree or musical theory major, but it doesn't hurt you just by having it on your degree.

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ta06fsu
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby ta06fsu » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:07 am

Criminal Justice major here and I'm in at Wash U, Emory, and wait listed at Duke, Cornell, and Vanderbilt. I'm not going to lie, criminology was incredibly easy for me so I don't know if it helped me build analytical skills or anything like that but it was a great GPA boost major. I'm also majoring in psychology so maybe the combination of the two was seen as a "hard" major by the admission committees.

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ta06fsu
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby ta06fsu » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:44 am

boo jersey shore wrote:CJUS major who will be attending Northwestern. CJUS neither hurt nor helped my chances anywhere. CJUS majors underperforming on the LSAT has a lot to do with the types of people who pursue the major, not the education itself.


Agree

cartercl
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby cartercl » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:04 am

merichard87 wrote:
cartercl wrote:
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.


Cartercl, I like you. Good Job!


Thanks! :D

OmbreGracieuse
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby OmbreGracieuse » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:08 pm

cartercl wrote:
pattymac wrote: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 actually had to write a 30 page thesis, and wrote about just that-- race, crime, and poverty. I picked 11 cities and studied the correlation to race and poverty, and crime and poverty. It was pretty cool.

I will give you a point for the differing kinds of students. I can honestly say my classmates were not all academic, then again, there are the strange few like me who are. :)

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acrossthelake
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:19 pm

The low LSAT scores of Criminal Justice & pre-law majors is probably self-selection. The top universities in this nation don't offer it and both are generally viewed as soft and easy majors.
I've read somewhere that law schools don't like those types of majors, but unfortunately don't remember the source, though I believe it was an interview.

03121202698008
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:32 pm

acrossthelake wrote:The low LSAT scores of Criminal Justice & pre-law majors is probably self-selection. The top universities in this nation don't offer it and both are generally viewed as soft and easy majors.
I've read somewhere that law schools don't like those types of majors, but unfortunately don't remember the source, though I believe it was an interview.


I think it may have been Dean Pless.

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TrackTony88
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby TrackTony88 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:40 pm

Impact of Undergraduate Major

TLS: How much weight does an applicant's undergraduate major have?

It carries a lot of with me, but it has more of an impact with lower GPAs. What I mean is that if someone has a 3.2 in Electrical Engineering from a good school, I still consider that a good GPA. A 3.9 is almost always good. The overall quality of the University it is from would have a big impact as well.

TLS: What is your take on engineering majors? Do you consider it a plus for an applicant to have an engineering degree? Also, do you apply any sort of GPA boost to these engineering applicants?

I really like engineering majors. Illinois has one of the very best engineering programs in the world, so it is a natural fit for us. Most engineering programs have a different curve than other programs, so we take that into account when reviewing a file.

TLS: Are there certain majors that you hate to see on an application?

Certain majors and programs are certainly stronger than others. Criminology and pre-law are not some of the stronger majors.

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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:16 pm

boo jersey shore wrote:
blhoward2 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:The low LSAT scores of Criminal Justice & pre-law majors is probably self-selection. The top universities in this nation don't offer it and both are generally viewed as soft and easy majors.
I've read somewhere that law schools don't like those types of majors, but unfortunately don't remember the source, though I believe it was an interview.


I think it may have been Dean Pless.

Where you been, blowhard?


I've been on here and there. Super busy wrapping stuff up at work.

OP, I have a CJ degree and I got in Michigan...though I'm sure my military experience helped. I'd recommend a different degree.

cartercl
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby cartercl » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:26 pm

blhoward2 wrote:
boo jersey shore wrote:
blhoward2 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:The low LSAT scores of Criminal Justice & pre-law majors is probably self-selection. The top universities in this nation don't offer it and both are generally viewed as soft and easy majors.
I've read somewhere that law schools don't like those types of majors, but unfortunately don't remember the source, though I believe it was an interview.


I think it may have been Dean Pless.

Where you been, blowhard?


I've been on here and there. Super busy wrapping stuff up at work.

OP, I have a CJ degree and I got in Michigan...though I'm sure my military experience helped. I'd recommend a different degree.


State? It's supposed to have like one of the the best CJ programs in the country... I doubt you would be looked down on if you earned it there.

03121202698008
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:31 pm

cartercl wrote:State? It's supposed to have like one of the the best CJ programs in the country... I doubt you would be looked down on if you earned it there.


Univ of Michigan. My CJ (BA and MA) degrees are from an online school geared towards the military.

cartercl
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby cartercl » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:56 pm

blhoward2 wrote:
cartercl wrote:State? It's supposed to have like one of the the best CJ programs in the country... I doubt you would be looked down on if you earned it there.


Univ of Michigan. My CJ (BA and MA) degrees are from an online school geared towards the military.


Oh... Okay. Gotcha

r6_philly
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby r6_philly » Sat May 01, 2010 3:20 pm

I took a high level CJ class as an elective to my computer security cert. The CJ class is computer crimes. It was taught by a active FBI agent who works cyber crimes. It was a really intersting class and I learned a lot about the CJ side of things. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but I am not impressed at all with the objectives of the CJ courses. It was more about learning procedures and one sided perspective. Critical thinking was limited to this one perspective and I don't really like that. TBF that's the point of the major, to produce people who can work in the CJ system prosecuting criminals, but I think lawyers by contast needs to see things from multiple perspectives and this was discouraged in the CJ classes. CJ is more like a professional prepatory major rather than a foundation major, so perhaps that's why grad schools don't like it as much. I don't think it puts anyone at a huge disadvantage to go to CJ first them want to study law, but your college education will be too focused and lack some broad perspectives and academic foundations that LA majors offer.

honestabe84
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 01, 2010 9:55 pm

MoS wrote:My guess is that CJ is looked at as a very soft major. Also it has the problem that pre-law does, in the way that admissions committee and some professors in general view it as an added difficulty because they have to re-teach what you have already learned. But I am sure you have a solid GPA and LSAT and don't dwell on you major and how much you know about law already in you PS, it makes no difference. It has not wow factor like a physics degree or musical theory major, but it doesn't hurt you just by having it on your degree.


What do you mean they have to re-teach?

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MoS
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Re: Anyone a Criminal Justice major?

Postby MoS » Sun May 02, 2010 1:26 am

honestabe84 wrote:
MoS wrote:My guess is that CJ is looked at as a very soft major. Also it has the problem that pre-law does, in the way that admissions committee and some professors in general view it as an added difficulty because they have to re-teach what you have already learned. But I am sure you have a solid GPA and LSAT and don't dwell on you major and how much you know about law already in you PS, it makes no difference. It has not wow factor like a physics degree or musical theory major, but it doesn't hurt you just by having it on your degree.


What do you mean they have to re-teach?

I have heard from the one and only law professor I know (so it may not be a universal truth) that there are a number of students who come into law school that have taken law related classes and already think they understand legal concepts thoroughly because the passed a class that covered the concept in undergrad. That can make teaching a person the subject more difficult, especially if the first time they learned it, it was in a different context, taught by a none law professor, or just because the law professor likes to teach a concept in a specific, different way.




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