Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

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aka10s
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:28 pm

Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby aka10s » Wed May 05, 2010 1:35 pm

Hi Everyone

I just finished my masters degree in Chemical Engineering. My undergrad GPA was a 3.24 and my grad GPA was much higher. I have always thought about law school, especially working in IP Law, and finally have the guts to take the LSAT. I only started studying for it about a month ago, and have enrolled for the June exam. However, my Kaplan teacher advised I postpone until October to make sure I get the grade I want. So my question is, should I follow her advice and take the exam in Oct? Also, what kind of LSAT score should I be shooting for? I am kind of in the dark with all of that. I know my GPA isn't stellar, but a degree in Chemical Engineering isn't a cake walk! Will law schools consider this? Thanks!

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby SaintClarence27 » Wed May 05, 2010 1:39 pm

aka10s wrote:Hi Everyone

I just finished my masters degree in Chemical Engineering. My undergrad GPA was a 3.24 and my grad GPA was much higher. I have always thought about law school, especially working in IP Law, and finally have the guts to take the LSAT. I only started studying for it about a month ago, and have enrolled for the June exam. However, my Kaplan teacher advised I postpone until October to make sure I get the grade I want. So my question is, should I follow her advice and take the exam in Oct? Also, what kind of LSAT score should I be shooting for? I am kind of in the dark with all of that. I know my GPA isn't stellar, but a degree in Chemical Engineering isn't a cake walk! Will law schools consider this? Thanks!


Don't listen to the Kaplan teacher. You can retake in October if you need to, and most schools take only the highest score into account. As for the GPA, well, that's a bit trickier. Some schools will take the difficulty of your course of study into account, and some won't. Either way, it will hurt their medians, and therefore hurt your chances. As for what kind of LSAT score you should shoot for, it depends on 1) what range of schools you have targeted and 2) what you're capable of scoring. Do as well as you can! What have your PTs been like so far?

aka10s
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby aka10s » Wed May 05, 2010 1:49 pm

Thanks for the replies. My PT's havent been high at all, basically around 150. This is definitely not the score I want at all. I'd rather just pursue my PhD than go to a tier-3 type school. Less debt!

As for schools, I figured it all really doesn't matter until I have my score. Just study as hard as I can and go from there. But I briefly looked at schools like Santa Clara, University of Washington. I am just torn on when I should take this exam, or even if it's worth pursuing. I know my GPA is low, so I would have to make it up in my LSAT.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby SaintClarence27 » Wed May 05, 2010 1:56 pm

aka10s wrote:Thanks for the replies. My PT's havent been high at all, basically around 150. This is definitely not the score I want at all. I'd rather just pursue my PhD than go to a tier-3 type school. Less debt!

As for schools, I figured it all really doesn't matter until I have my score. Just study as hard as I can and go from there. But I briefly looked at schools like Santa Clara, University of Washington. I am just torn on when I should take this exam, or even if it's worth pursuing. I know my GPA is low, so I would have to make it up in my LSAT.


For a school in the range of UW, you're going to need a 168 or so. For Santa Clara, I'd guess a 162 would get you in. If you're not going to get that, I'd go with the PhD.

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lostjake
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Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby lostjake » Wed May 05, 2010 2:05 pm

SaintClarence27 wrote:
aka10s wrote:Thanks for the replies. My PT's havent been high at all, basically around 150. This is definitely not the score I want at all. I'd rather just pursue my PhD than go to a tier-3 type school. Less debt!

As for schools, I figured it all really doesn't matter until I have my score. Just study as hard as I can and go from there. But I briefly looked at schools like Santa Clara, University of Washington. I am just torn on when I should take this exam, or even if it's worth pursuing. I know my GPA is low, so I would have to make it up in my LSAT.


For a school in the range of UW, you're going to need a 168 or so. For Santa Clara, I'd guess a 162 would get you in. If you're not going to get that, I'd go with the PhD.


Do not get a PhD unless you are interested in research. Finding a teaching position is harder than finding a job in law, and the research jobs are hard to come by also. Plus getting a PhD is much much much much harder than getting your MS, although if you have the numbers and intelligence to get in the university will most likely pay for it.

luckycurl84
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Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby luckycurl84 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:27 pm

At least my experience this year, it's a soft factor - and irrelevant if a school's actively trying to improve median GPA. A big ups on the 3.2. Seriously. I know how hard it is. I don't think 1L can be much worse than 4 years of ChE.

Just rock the LSAT. So unless your PT's pick up, I'd delay until October and make sure my LSAT was solid. My $0.02.

FWIW, I work in oil/gas/petrochem, and there are very few R&D jobs right now. Most companies are just trying to survive, not find the 'next big thing.' Just do your research for the PhD too. A collegue of mine has one (from Berkley!), and it didn't give him a significant boost over a BS.

aka10s
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Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby aka10s » Wed May 05, 2010 3:03 pm

luckycurl84 wrote:At least my experience this year, it's a soft factor - and irrelevant if a school's actively trying to improve median GPA. A big ups on the 3.2. Seriously. I know how hard it is. I don't think 1L can be much worse than 4 years of ChE.

Just rock the LSAT. So unless your PT's pick up, I'd delay until October and make sure my LSAT was solid. My $0.02.

FWIW, I work in oil/gas/petrochem, and there are very few R&D jobs right now. Most companies are just trying to survive, not find the 'next big thing.' Just do your research for the PhD too. A collegue of mine has one (from Berkley!), and it didn't give him a significant boost over a BS.




Thanks for all the advice. I think I am going to postpone until October and do it the right way. There is no need to look at schools if I don't have the score to get in. So just take it one step at a time.

And yes, 4 years of CHE was not fun. Grad school wasn't much easier also. I just hope Law School Admissions can take the degree difficulty into account. If they don't, hopefully my LSAT can make up for it.

I know getting a PhD isn't easy. I was on the PhD track for awhile, then had to cut it short due to budget problems. However, I'm not afraid of working hard so hopefully that attitude will pay off!

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vexion
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Re: Masters in Chemical Engineering-Need Advice!

Postby vexion » Wed May 05, 2010 6:42 pm

aka10s wrote:Thanks for all the advice. I think I am going to postpone until October and do it the right way. There is no need to look at schools if I don't have the score to get in. So just take it one step at a time.

I've gotta echo amyLAchemist's advice here: since recent ABA and LSAC rule changes, schools are now receptive to people taking the LSAT more than once with almost no penalty (unless your score nosedives from the first test to the next.) It used to be that schools had to report the average of their students' various LSAT scores. Now, they're only required to report the highest. Therefore, admissions have shifted to be based around the highest.

With that in mind, since you're already registered for June, don't throw the money away. Study hard, now, with a rigorous, four-hours-a-day sort of one-month study plan. Read the Powerscore bibles and PT, PT, PT! If you're not satisfied with your June score, THEN take the October test.

The rigor of your academic program is taken into account, but law school admissions is still very much a numbers game. Schools are required to report (and are ranked) according to students' GPAs, without swing room for how difficult those GPAs were to achieve. It sucks, but it's the way it is. This admissions predictor has historically been pretty accurate for TLS users, I think. With your GPA, it predicts you'd need a 166 to be an absolute lock at a school like Santa Clara. 166 is very doable with smart, focused study.

Good luck!




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