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(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
yellowjacket2012
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Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:17 pm

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Last edited by yellowjacket2012 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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malfurion
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby malfurion » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:01 pm

Hey, fellow Tech alum here (2002). I'm going to be applying to law schools for fall 2011.

Unlike most engineers that are going to law school, I actually don't really have any interest in patent law. My preferred career paths, at least right now, would be 1) federal prosecutor, 2) energy/technology law, 3) environmental or other govt/public interest. As far as writing a personal statement, do you think I'd be better off emphasizing that I'm giving up on engineering because I want to do other law-related things instead? Or would it sound better if I said that I wanted to combine my engineering background with law to do IP/patent type of stuff? The latter is not really true, and I'm inclined to write honestly, but it might make my application look more cohesive.

I guess the other obvious question is do schools realize just how few people get 3.5 or higher in eng/sci majors at Tech? (3.55 was summa cum laude when I graduated, dunno if it has changed) From what I can tell, they don't care, and it pisses me off that we effectively get punished for going to a school where getting an A actually means something.

Also, how have you adjusted to the weather/environment up there? I.e., how bad would it suck to go to school in Chicago given that I've only ever lived in Georgia, Florida, and Texas? If it wasn't for location, Northwestern would be one of my top choices.

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IAFG
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby IAFG » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:03 pm

every time i see "georgia tech" i think of that usher song, "same girl."

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:10 pm

malfurion wrote: As far as writing a personal statement, do you think I'd be better off emphasizing that I'm giving up on engineering because I want to do other law-related things instead? Or would it sound better if I said that I wanted to combine my engineering background with law to do IP/patent type of stuff? The latter is not really true, and I'm inclined to write honestly, but it might make my application look more cohesive.


People with an engineering background are accustomed to breaking down a multi-part system into modules, and analyzing in a modular way. They are also plain writers. This helps in legal writing, as well as exam-writing (I think). Instead of writing about your academic stint in engineering as something you're forfeiting, I would forcefully argue that it gives you perspective that alternative majors would not have given you.

For instance, take linearity and time invariance from your systems classes. These are desirable from a system stability standpoint, but in the legal world - linearity doesn't exist, a variation on an input does not result in a proportional variation in output - Congress can change the "function" by amending a law, or repealing a law, etc. Judges in varying jurisdictions can result in disparate outcomes to the same fact-patterns, based on whether they use cost-benefit, stare decisis, pragmatism, formalism, or whatever approach they use.

Law is inherently time-variant. Plessy, Koramatsu, etc., do not support the time-delayed input = time-delayed output paradigm. Time-delay has always resulted in varying outputs for identical inputs in the law for complex reasons.

I think you can articulate an amazing essay using your engineering academic experience as a huge plus. Whatever you do, don't "tell them" how to interpret your academic performance. They're in the business of evaluating academic aptitude, it would be REALLY TEMPTING for you to put a gloss on something - it will be dilutive - just put your best foot forward, and have faith that they will interpret a C in an engineering class in the same light as a B, or even a B+ in a grade-inflated context.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:17 pm

malfurion wrote:I guess the other obvious question is do schools realize just how few people get 3.5 or higher in eng/sci majors at Tech? (3.55 was summa cum laude when I graduated, dunno if it has changed) From what I can tell, they don't care, and it pisses me off that we effectively get punished for going to a school where getting an A actually means something.


I think some schools care. Columbia cares. I would apply ED to Columbia if I had to do it all over again. Georgia Tech sends out letters to law schools informing them of the grade-deflation at Tech, but I'm not sure this is a helpful endeavor. Who knows.

Weather?

It sucks. I'm not sure there's any positives to the winter here compared to Atlanta. It sucks. Also, the job opportunities out of NU Law will be heavily mid-west oriented, so you're going to have to want to be here for a while. I would be very mindful of where I go to law school. EE + T14 is not a nationwide ticket, not right out of the gates anyway. The EE markets are huge in Chicago, Bay Area, NY, and of course DC. I would go to law school somewhere in one of those markets if I was comfortable with the idea of working in that market.

If you want to return to Atlanta, I would strongly consider Duke. The thing with the Atlanta market is, the South East Patent Job Fair does not invite schools like NU, or even U of C, or anywhere other than UT-Austin. It is challenging to get a job in the Southeast out of NU because of this reason.

Employers from the Ga. State IP job fair do not come to Loyola anymore, they "assume" that NU 2Ls will fly down to the Ga. State IP job fair, but we're not eligible to participate!! It's a loophole that needs to be addressed quickly - but if you're applying for next year, I would definitely keep this "local zone" thing in mind.

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malfurion
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby malfurion » Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:12 pm

Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond, I'll definitely keep your advice in mind.

jerjon2
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby jerjon2 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:18 am

malfurion wrote:I guess the other obvious question is do schools realize just how few people get 3.5 or higher in eng/sci majors at Tech? (3.55 was summa cum laude when I graduated, dunno if it has changed) From what I can tell, they don't care, and it pisses me off that we effectively get punished for going to a school where getting an A actually means something.


3.55 is still summa cum laude

Good luck with your applications

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savagedm
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby savagedm » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:31 pm

I have a question... how does it feel having the perfect option and still losing to Iowa? ;) jk jk I went to school at Georgia Southern for a bit and simply to spite the rest of the kids there I went for Tech over UGA as my "choice local team" (besides of course our own, which is still, unfortunately, AA) and at some point I actually started liking Tech for real haha

luckycurl84
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby luckycurl84 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:49 pm

How does law school compare to the large helping of humble pie that GT engineering bestows?

Bucwild
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby Bucwild » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:58 pm

I'm not here to ask a question. As I fellow YellowJacket I'd just like to say "To Hell with Georgia". That is all

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby TheBigMediocre » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:02 pm

It's good to see someone from North Avenue Trade School making it. Very inspirational.

yellowjacket2012
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Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:18 pm

TheBigMediocre wrote:It's good to see someone from North Avenue Trade School making it. Very inspirational.

LOL, yeah yeah, I actually have a shirt @ that.

yellowjacket2012
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:01 pm

Re: Georgia Tech alum, current 2L in law school taking questions

Postby yellowjacket2012 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:22 pm

luckycurl84 wrote:How does law school compare to the large helping of humble pie that GT engineering bestows?

It depends, frankly. The humble pie normally comes around sophomore year at GT, at east in EE - you don't really get bad grades in your third and fourth years, its the weed out classes that get you.

In law school, the humble pie comes big-time when you work extra-hard for some class, and don't come out with more than a B+ or something, that's the humble pie in law school (dashed expectations).

Law school's definitely a lot more status-obsessed than Tech was. For instance, nobody obsessed with getting on HKN (EE honor society), or becoming the president of it, or whatever. People in law school obsess endlessly about the law journals they get on - because it really affects their job prospects.

The big difference is the job pursuits, some people in law school are going for some jobs - the equivalent of which would be getting hired by Google as a CS major, or GE or IBM as an engineering kid, out of Tech. I don't know, I could go on about this in some ways - there's a lot more puffery and elitism in law school than there was at Tech.




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