PhD Chemistry and Law School

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thisguy001
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PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby thisguy001 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:56 pm

Hey guys just a question about my chances. I took the LSATs 2 months ago and received my scores a couple weeks ago (172). I'm finishing my PhD in BioOrganic Chemistry/ Chemical Biology from a UC. I have a 2 Masters in Organic Chemistry one from the UC I currently attend and 1 from a Cal State that I attended after I got my BS (Chem/ minor in math.) I'm not applying to law school till the next cycle because I'm not sure if I can finish and defend my dissertation within the next 8 months. Even though I'm pretty educated I'm worried that my low undergrad GPA (3.05) is gonna hurt my chances to get into a top law school. I want to do intellectual property law and want to go to the best school I can. Where do you guys think I should apply?

Here are my stats
MS/PhD Chemistry- 4.0 GPA (8 publications) from UC
MS Organic Chemistry- 3.7 GPA with thesis from Cal State
BS Chemistry/minor math- 3.05 GPA from top 50 private school.
LSAT score -172

Thanks for all your help.
-Really confused chemist.

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JazzOne
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:00 pm

I would say not to go to law school. Any chance of parlaying your PhD into a professorship? You can always read a con law supplement if you're just dying to study law.

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drdolittle
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby drdolittle » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:02 pm

Start by checking lawschoolpredictor.com and other similar sites.

Unfortunately your grad GPAs will not matter at all. Your PhD will be a good soft, but your undergrad GPA and LSAT will far outweigh its influence on your admission chances.

whymeohgodno
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby whymeohgodno » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:04 pm

Um, UVA ED.

09042014
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby 09042014 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:13 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:Um, UVA ED.


Nah.

Apply to the entire lower t14 and see what happens. Someone like NU, or Mich might want to snatch up someone who will be employable post law school.

thisguy001
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby thisguy001 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:52 am

Would it matter if my undergrad GPA was lowered by my major GPA? My General Ed GPA was a 3.7 and my chemistry GPA was a 2.45, so overall it was a 3.05? Will my high GPA in graduate chemistry courses offset my bad undergraduate chemistry coursework, that I could probably all ace now? I would really like to stay in CA so I'm probably gonna apply to USC, UCLA, Berkeley, (and Stanford for kicks)...I just don't wanna end up @ a tier 4. Thanks again guys.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:22 pm

Those schools are notorious for being averse to admitting high LSAT/low GPA applicants.

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androstan
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby androstan » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:02 pm

thisguy001 wrote:Would it matter if my undergrad GPA was lowered by my major GPA? My General Ed GPA was a 3.7 and my chemistry GPA was a 2.45, so overall it was a 3.05? Will my high GPA in graduate chemistry courses offset my bad undergraduate chemistry coursework, that I could probably all ace now? I would really like to stay in CA so I'm probably gonna apply to USC, UCLA, Berkeley, (and Stanford for kicks)...I just don't wanna end up @ a tier 4. Thanks again guys.


No way in hell you'll end up at a tier 4. In your situation, I would expect most tier 1's, and several in the top 20, to take you. You have a shot at t14, basically anyone who gets 171 on the LSAT has some shot at the t14. EDing to Northwestern, UVA, Duke, GULC, etc. is the way to go.

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drdolittle
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby drdolittle » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:09 pm

androstan wrote:
thisguy001 wrote:Would it matter if my undergrad GPA was lowered by my major GPA? My General Ed GPA was a 3.7 and my chemistry GPA was a 2.45, so overall it was a 3.05? Will my high GPA in graduate chemistry courses offset my bad undergraduate chemistry coursework, that I could probably all ace now? I would really like to stay in CA so I'm probably gonna apply to USC, UCLA, Berkeley, (and Stanford for kicks)...I just don't wanna end up @ a tier 4. Thanks again guys.


No way in hell you'll end up at a tier 4. In your situation, I would expect most tier 1's, and several in the top 20, to take you. You have a shot at t14, basically anyone who gets 171 on the LSAT has some shot at the t14. EDing to Northwestern, UVA, Duke, GULC, etc. is the way to go.


This is definitely true, you should absolutely get in to tier 1s and possibly some of the t14 schools others have suggested. You'll probably get significant $ at tier 2s. Check the predictors and this site, but I don't think you'll get into any of the CA schools ranked above Davis though (assuming you're not URM, then it's harder to predict). I think Stanford and Cal are totally out, but I'd still apply if you've got the $. CA schools just value GPA and typically are less splitter friendly.

Your cumulative undergrad GPA is what matters, period. Admissions won't fully appreciate how hard or easy some of your classes might have been. I know this is hard to swallow because it's pretty unfair, but check the countless discussions on this on TLS and elsewhere if you don't believe me...Your PhD will be viewed as a good soft, but it won't dominate your chances like one might think.

gambelda
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby gambelda » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:12 pm

I don't want to be a douchebag, but how long have you been in school? Have you EVER worked? Law firms do not want to hire 30 year olds with too many degrees and no work experience.

Furthermore, how do you ever plan on paying back all the debt you have accumulated (assuming your family is not very wealthy)

bigkahuna2020
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:38 pm

gambelda wrote:I don't want to be a douchebag, but how long have you been in school? Have you EVER worked? Law firms do not want to hire 30 year olds with too many degrees and no work experience.

Furthermore, how do you ever plan on paying back all the debt you have accumulated (assuming your family is not very wealthy)


...PhD's are earning positions. You know very little about science PhD's

whymeohgodno
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:42 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:Those schools are notorious for being averse to admitting high LSAT/low GPA applicants.


Yeah Cali schools hate low gpas. But some of them do like hard majors which yours definitely is. But I say the GPA is still way too low for them to bite even with a 171.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:44 pm

While I won't make a comment about schools, except to say apply EVERYWHERE in the upper tier of cali, I will say that the Chemical IP field is REALLY in demand and understaffed, and is a very lucrative profession. I think people on this forum know very little about academia and how little it pays.

The OP, even with his qualification, probably has 2-4 years of postdoc work paying around 45-55k, then MAYBE a non tenure track position for a year or two paying the same, then 4-5 years later will be making 60-75k.

And this is working hours that would make most lawyers blush.

gambelda
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby gambelda » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:46 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:
gambelda wrote:I don't want to be a douchebag, but how long have you been in school? Have you EVER worked? Law firms do not want to hire 30 year olds with too many degrees and no work experience.

Furthermore, how do you ever plan on paying back all the debt you have accumulated (assuming your family is not very wealthy)


...PhD's are earning positions. You know very little about science PhD's


Enlighten me - I have heard otherwise. I could see a PhD assisting in academia but not in biglaw. Personally, I think the OP should stay in science related academia.

OP, you really want to blow another 3 years of your life not gaining any form of income and gaining a degree that can't even guarantee you a job when you graduate?

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OGR3
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby OGR3 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:49 pm

OP, I would imagine you're interested in IP. In which case, I would suggest checking out: http://www.intelproplaw.com

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stratocophic
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby stratocophic » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:57 pm

gambelda wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:
gambelda wrote:I don't want to be a douchebag, but how long have you been in school? Have you EVER worked? Law firms do not want to hire 30 year olds with too many degrees and no work experience.

Furthermore, how do you ever plan on paying back all the debt you have accumulated (assuming your family is not very wealthy)


...PhD's are earning positions. You know very little about science PhD's


Enlighten me - I have heard otherwise. I could see a PhD assisting in academia but not in biglaw. Personally, I think the OP should stay in science related academia.

OP, you really want to blow another 3 years of your life not gaining any form of income and gaining a degree that can't even guarantee you a job when you graduate?
OP's IPsecure, 0L.

thisguy001
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby thisguy001 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:52 pm

First of all I'm only 29 years old, which I don't think is too old to go to law school. I've been in school for a total of 11 years... I have only undergraduate debt. Graduate school in the hard sciences is free and they pay you ( a nominal fee.) to go to school. I'm interested in IP law and there are very few people who can do IP law in pharmaceuticals or biotech without a PhD in a Hard science.
Also for those suggesting I stay in the sciences and become a professor...I would still have to post-doc 2 to 3 more years to even be considered to be hired as an assistant professor. The pay for a post doc is 35-45,000 a year, which sucks. The pay for an assistant professor is 65-70,000 a year, which sucks more. To become tenured you have to be an assistant professor for 6 years...(6*70,000=420,000) I'd make in 6 years what a lawyer would make in 2. Its not all about the money, I'm really interested in IP.
To those that answered my original question thank you. You've been very helpful.

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CG614
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby CG614 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:57 pm

thisguy001 wrote:First of all I'm only 29 years old, which I don't think is too old to go to law school. I've been in school for a total of 11 years... I have only undergraduate debt. Graduate school in the hard sciences is free and they pay you ( a nominal fee.) to go to school. I'm interested in IP law and there are very few people who can do IP law in pharmaceuticals or biotech without a PhD in a Hard science.
Also for those suggesting I stay in the sciences and become a professor...I would still have to post-doc 2 to 3 more years to even be considered to be hired as an assistant professor. The pay for a post doc is 35-45,000 a year, which sucks. The pay for an assistant professor is 65-70,000 a year, which sucks more. To become tenured you have to be an assistant professor for 6 years...(6*70,000=420,000) I'd make in 6 years what a lawyer would make in 2. Its not all about the money, I'm really interested in IP.
To those that answered my original question thank you. You've been very helpful.

2 years where? Not even WLRK would get you that in your first two years.

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JazzOne
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby JazzOne » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:58 pm

thisguy001 wrote:I'm interested in IP law and there are very few people who can do IP law in pharmaceuticals or biotech without a PhD in a Hard science.

Now you're starting to seem like an alt for that other flamer.

thisguy001 wrote:To become tenured you have to be an assistant professor for 6 years...(6*70,000=420,000) I'd make in 6 years what a lawyer would make in 2.

Good luck making that kind of cash in law.

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s254w
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby s254w » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:04 pm

thisguy001 wrote:First of all I'm only 29 years old, which I don't think is too old to go to law school. I've been in school for a total of 11 years... I have only undergraduate debt. Graduate school in the hard sciences is free and they pay you ( a nominal fee.) to go to school. I'm interested in IP law and there are very few people who can do IP law in pharmaceuticals or biotech without a PhD in a Hard science.
Also for those suggesting I stay in the sciences and become a professor...I would still have to post-doc 2 to 3 more years to even be considered to be hired as an assistant professor. The pay for a post doc is 35-45,000 a year, which sucks. The pay for an assistant professor is 65-70,000 a year, which sucks more. To become tenured you have to be an assistant professor for 6 years...(6*70,000=420,000) I'd make in 6 years what a lawyer would make in 2. Its not all about the money, I'm really interested in IP.
To those that answered my original question thank you. You've been very helpful.


Actually, typical post docs are 4 to 5 years now. I always find it funny when people tell me "what, and all that debt? And more school?"
It's surprising how little people know about PhD programs in the hard sciences. Our tuition is taken care of, and we get paid throughout the length of the program (though its really not that much at all). We take classes about two years, and then just work in a lab on our research. Essentially, exactly what we'd be doing after completing the PhD for another 5 years, with only a 15 k bump in the salary. That's 5 years of making 45k and then maybe getting an assistant professorship which are SO hard to come by, VS 3 years of law school. Don't tell me the math doesn't make sense to you.

Add to it an absolute conviction that you never want to do another experiment again and the decision to switch fields becomes super easy.

OP, am i glad you are not applying this cycle! My LSAT is no where near yours and I have half the publications that you do.

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androstan
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby androstan » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:24 am

bigkahuna2020 wrote:While I won't make a comment about schools, except to say apply EVERYWHERE in the upper tier of cali, I will say that the Chemical IP field is REALLY in demand and understaffed, and is a very lucrative profession. I think people on this forum know very little about academia and how little it pays.

The OP, even with his qualification, probably has 2-4 years of postdoc work paying around 45-55k, then MAYBE a non tenure track position for a year or two paying the same, then 4-5 years later will be making 60-75k.

And this is working hours that would make most lawyers blush.


I have a BS in chem and chem engr, minor in biotech, and a master's in chem from Johns Hopkins. Obviously I will be outcompeted by PhD's, but am I still in a reasonable position to take advantage of the current demand for chemical IP?

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JazzOne
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby JazzOne » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:52 am

bigkahuna2020 wrote:While I won't make a comment about schools, except to say apply EVERYWHERE in the upper tier of cali, I will say that the Chemical IP field is REALLY in demand and understaffed, and is a very lucrative profession.

I really don't know where people get this idea. IP jobs are pretty tough to get ITE.

bigkahuna2020 wrote:I think people on this forum know very little about academia and how little it pays.

The OP, even with his qualification, probably has 2-4 years of postdoc work paying around 45-55k, then MAYBE a non tenure track position for a year or two paying the same, then 4-5 years later will be making 60-75k.

And this is working hours that would make most lawyers blush.

If you think the hours of an academic would make lawyers blush, then you have no idea how hard lawyers work.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:39 pm

JazzOne wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:While I won't make a comment about schools, except to say apply EVERYWHERE in the upper tier of cali, I will say that the Chemical IP field is REALLY in demand and understaffed, and is a very lucrative profession.

I really don't know where people get this idea. IP jobs are pretty tough to get ITE.

bigkahuna2020 wrote:I think people on this forum know very little about academia and how little it pays.

The OP, even with his qualification, probably has 2-4 years of postdoc work paying around 45-55k, then MAYBE a non tenure track position for a year or two paying the same, then 4-5 years later will be making 60-75k.

And this is working hours that would make most lawyers blush.

If you think the hours of an academic would make lawyers blush, then you have no idea how hard lawyers work.


Science research is not poli sci research. I know literally no science researcher who does not work past 8 most days of the week and at least one weekend day.

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JazzOne
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby JazzOne » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:24 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:While I won't make a comment about schools, except to say apply EVERYWHERE in the upper tier of cali, I will say that the Chemical IP field is REALLY in demand and understaffed, and is a very lucrative profession.

I really don't know where people get this idea. IP jobs are pretty tough to get ITE.

bigkahuna2020 wrote:I think people on this forum know very little about academia and how little it pays.

The OP, even with his qualification, probably has 2-4 years of postdoc work paying around 45-55k, then MAYBE a non tenure track position for a year or two paying the same, then 4-5 years later will be making 60-75k.

And this is working hours that would make most lawyers blush.

If you think the hours of an academic would make lawyers blush, then you have no idea how hard lawyers work.


Science research is not poli sci research. I know literally no science researcher who does not work past 8 most days of the week and at least one weekend day.

Yeah and? Do you really doubt whether lawyers work similar hours? Perhaps I have a biased perspective because my experience is biglaw, but I can assure you that the hiring partner who I'm working for this summer would not blush at those hours. In fact, that's about the minimum requirement. A lot of lawyers work even more.

Plus, when I worked in a research lab, the PI didn't come in until 10 or 10:30. He rarely worked weekends. He published regularly and had a solid family life. Lab work is less stressful and more leisurely than biglaw, in my experience. Although, I'm sure the politics of academia are horrible.
Last edited by JazzOne on Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawschoollll
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Re: PhD Chemistry and Law School

Postby lawschoollll » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:37 pm

Do you want to live in Chicago for 3 years, or in Charlottesville?

Decide.

/thread




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