Any thoughts on taking law classes before you apply?

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JurisDoctorate
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:22 am

Any thoughts on taking law classes before you apply?

Postby JurisDoctorate » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:35 pm

Okay, I was wondering if anyone had some recommendations on any additional steps I can take:

1. I am in a PhD program in the Social Sciences and will be done with coursework by summer
2. I created a line of research that combines the law and psychology
3. I will be presenting a paper at a psychology conference in the summer
4. I brought on a law professor from another institution
5. He is preparing the lit review for a possible law review article (which would include a couple of my studies)
6. I am studying for the June LSAT and will retake again in October, if need be
7. I will apply to my institution's law school at the end of this year

I have a GPA at the median and I hope to get an LSAT score that is at least at the 25%.

I was just wondering if I should start taking law courses (which I am free to do) before I apply; also, should I try to work with a law professor (at the school) in hopes of getting a recommendation?

I am free to take any courses so I am considering taking some basic law courses, and doing well in them, to show that I can do well in the law school.

Thoughts?

09042014
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Any thoughts on taking law classes before you apply?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:43 pm

I'd be very surprised if you can take the basic 1L courses. But if you can, take torts and contracts. It'll give you a test run at 1L and that should help your grades when you start 1L.

It don't think it would help your admissions chances. Especially if you do shitty.

JurisDoctorate
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:22 am

Re: Any thoughts on taking law classes before you apply?

Postby JurisDoctorate » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:48 pm

Right. I was looking through the course schedules and it seems like I can't take 1L courses, I can only take other courses with the instructor's consent. I was put in contact with a professor, through my adviser, and I know I can take her course; I am just not sure how much it would help.

Would it be fair to say that the benefit of doing well in law courses would be negligible, but starting a working relationship with a professor - on a line of research - could be quite helpful? And would that just be from the LOR?

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Verity
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Any thoughts on taking law classes before you apply?

Postby Verity » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:52 pm

To be honest, for your stated goal (i.e., showing that you can do well in LS, presumably to admission committees), taking 1L classes is nearly worthless. 95% of a school's decision to admit you will be based on GPA and LSAT. The only reason I would recommend doing this would be so that you can decide if law is for you. If you've already decided (and nearly everyone applying to LS has never sat in on a law course, let alone taken one for credit), then there's no point. If I were you, I'd expend that energy on LSAT preparation. Raising your score by one point can mean the difference between rejection and admission, scholarships and sticker price.

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tinman
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:17 pm

Re: Any thoughts on taking law classes before you apply?

Postby tinman » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:12 pm

JurisDoctorate wrote:2. I created a line of research that combines the law and psychology
4. I brought on a law professor from another institution
5. He is preparing the lit review for a possible law review article (which would include a couple of my studies)
6. I am studying for the June LSAT and will retake again in October, if need be
7. I will apply to my institution's law school at the end of this year

I have a GPA at the median and I hope to get an LSAT score that is at least at the 25%.

I was just wondering if I should start taking law courses (which I am free to do) before I apply; also, should I try to work with a law professor (at the school) in hopes of getting a recommendation?.


Hey JD. What are your career goals?

First, I don't think you should set your eyes on your current institution's law school (unless you are at Yale). Whether you want to teach or practice law, you should absolutely go to the best school possible. I'm guessing you might want to teach law, in which case the fine gradations within the T14 and outside it are even more significant.

Second, I agree with others in this thread that doing well in law classes will not not help you much for admission, the LSAT being by far the most important thing for you to focus on now.

That being said, I definitely think it can be a good idea to take a law class or two. I did a Ph.D. in science and I took an upper level law class on law and science at my institution while in graduate school. I got an A in the class. I didn't ask the professor for a recommendation (I had three recs from people that each knew me for more than five years, so it seemed silly to get one from someone who knew me for one semester), but I did write about the class in my personal statement. I think it's possible that it made me sounds more committed to law, and I certainly think it helped me write more intelligently about law. I imagine it could do the same for you. I think it's definitely worth getting to know law professors now when you have time. In many ways, law school is much more tedious and time-consuming than a Ph.D.

I have to run to class.

PM me if you want to discuss further. I'm happy to share more specific info about my experience as a Ph.D. turned J.D.




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