Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

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Med2law
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Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby Med2law » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:48 am

Hello everyone!

First and foremost: I am using an iPad to type this so ignore any punctuation/grammatical errors.

So my story is this: I am a senior in college and up until October I was seriously considering going into medical field. I applied to DO (exactly like MD except different degree names) but my GPA and MCAT isn't exactly stellar. A friend pointed out that I'd should consider law school. I know you're probably thinking that I am aoplying to law school out of desperation or because I love a lucrative monpit guarantee job but the honest truth is that I never really liked medicine all that much. I was only doing it because I "thought" thats what would make me happy. Yes, I'm good at science and I enjoy it but I Just don't think medicine is what I want to do. So moving on... I am a double major in English and Biology and I'm graduating in May from an intense liberL arts college that focuses on writing so that part is covered. I have won a couple of writing awards and reading is my passion. My science gap is a 2.9, my English gpa is a 3.7 (yeah... Goes to show science isn't exactly what I'm good at but also I took the hardest chem/bio classes... anyway) and my undergrad gap is a 3.13 (hopefully a solid 3.2 at grad). My LSDAS gap right now is a little higher 3.18 (no idea why... Since my school doesn't use A+ system and my school uses same gpa measuring steps as LSDAS). Sorry for excessive parenthesis use. And just a note, I come from a developing country so I didn't grow up learning American judiciary system. Heck, I could barely speak proper English when I moved here in 9th grade. In four years of HS I learnt the got to the point where I could write semi-decent essays. And in 4 years of college, I made A's in most of my English courses, the point being that I have worked extremely hard to go from speAking broken english to constructing well developed research papers so hard work is not a problem at all. In fact, I LOVE challenges.

So my question is should I consider law as my alternative? I agree that it wasn't even my consideration when I started my undergrad career BUT I'm not switching due to sheer desperation. I really do believe I'd make a 100X better lawyer than a doc. The only problem is I don't know a lick about American law. I had to google the name of the longest serving judiciary. I'm willing to work tremendously hard to learn though. As a Bio major, I have spent more weekends than I care to admit studying in the microbiology lab rather than partying like my fellow classmates. Another thing that makes me hopeful is that I have a "varied" background which I read that law schools like and I made a 159 on my first LSAT prac test).

And the second question is what is a good score that I need to aim for on LSAT wi a GPA of 3.1 if I do want to get into a decent/good law school (obv not top 10). And should I take my LSAT in Feb or Aug. What's the difference if I take it in Feb vs Aug? Thanks for all your help! I hope you get your reading dose of the day with my lengthy explaining but I included everything that I felt was crucial.

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bk1
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby bk1 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:52 am

Do you know what lawyers actually do? If no, go find out before you decide you want to be a lawyer. If yes then make sure that is what you want to do before going to law school.

You're going to need a 170+ LSAT to make law school worthwhile, imo. And you don't need to know anything about the American judicial system to go to law school, but you really should have an idea of what lawyers do before you decide to become one.

Med2law
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby Med2law » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:58 am

bk1 wrote:Do you know what lawyers actually do? If no, go find out before you decide you want to be a lawyer. If yes then make sure that is what you want to do before going to law school.

You're going to need a 170+ LSAT to make law school worthwhile, imo. And you don't need to know anything about the American judicial system to go to law school, but you really should have an idea of what lawyers do before you decide to become one.


I do! I'm sorry I should have mentioned that my dad's best friend and my boyfriend's father are both lawyers. Of course, I am going to intern at a law office to make myself familiar with "what lawyers actually do" but I was just curious if I should even bother trying? Or has anyone even heard of a lawyer who used to be interested in medicine? I guess what I really want to know is if what I'm suggesting is too far fetched or might not work out for me? Thanks for your help! :)

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MachineLemon
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby MachineLemon » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:13 am

Med2law wrote:Or has anyone even heard of a lawyer who used to be interested in medicine? I guess what I really want to know is if what I'm suggesting is too far fetched or might not work out for me? Thanks for your help! :)


If by interested in medicine, you mean interested in self-medication...

You can pretty much go to law school with any degree--English/Bio is fine. GPA's gonna hold you back, but you can still get in. To get a nice scholarship you are going to need a pretty killer LSAT.

What sort of law do the lawyers you mention practice? Will they hire you? Can they find you a job? If you are certain about landing something, that makes a big difference.

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cutecarmel
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby cutecarmel » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:18 am

A lot of people don't intend to go to law school when startign college. An English major is good. If its something that you can be committed to, I would say go for it. FYI, you don't have to know anything about law to go to law school. You can major in whatever (I majored in Psych and Spanish) and still do well)

Your LSAT score depends on what you consider "decent". I would say shoot for 160S.
LSAT is offer Feb, June, Oct, Dec. If you want to apply for Fall 2013, take the LSAT in June and if you need to retake, retake in October, no later than December.

Good luck
Last edited by cutecarmel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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fltanglab
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby fltanglab » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:19 am

I was in your shoes, but I made the switch the second term of my junior year and sat for the LSAT a month after I made that decision. I was also previously thinking about MD/JD, so it wasn't just a random new thought for me. I think you need to take more time to make this decision and take time off from school before applying. Being a lawyer is not particularly glamorous and you have to be ready to be possibly unemployed. If you get into any medical school and think you could still go through with it, just do that. It's no use getting cold feet at the last minute. To be completely honest, I never wanted to go to medical school for the right reasons and it was a lifelong dream of mine to be a lawyer. It makes sense for me, but it doesn't mean it'll make sense for you.

There are a lot of lawyers who began as pre-med, but most give up early in the game (like after organic chem). You're good at science...but your science GPA is a 2.9? You made A's in most of your English classes and yet only have a 3.7? Did you get B's in the rest of them? I don't know if you have a compelling argument about your GPA. There is no August LSAT date. There's February and June. February is probably really rushed at this point and June is typically when many first-time takers take it. I would not recommend you do law, especially not right now. Maybe if you sit on it and ponder for another year and still want to, then go ahead. I know a ton of English majors who would fail miserably in law school and truly hate it, so don't use that major as a crutch.

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MachineLemon
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby MachineLemon » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:30 am

cutecarmel wrote:Your LSAT score depends on what you consider "decent". I would say shoot for 160.
LSAT is offer Feb, June, Oct, Dec. If you want to apply for Fall 2013, take the LSAT in June and if you need to retake, retake in October, no later than December.


No, you need to shoot for a 170+. Maybe you won't hit that, but no one should aim for a 160. Every point you increase your LSAT can make a big difference in both school rank and scholarship money. Find an online debt calculator and figure out the monthly payments are on a 120k student loan.

Buy some practice tests online, take a full (timed) diagnostic practice test, then come back here for advice on how to work on the sections you struggle with.
Last edited by MachineLemon on Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cutecarmel
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby cutecarmel » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:36 am

Agree with the first part 100%, but not with the second. Plenty of people get into good law schools and get good jobs with LSAT scores lower than 170. The last attorney I worked for didn't do well on the LSAT, went to a TTTT law school, but has his own successful law firm because he is charismatic and has lots of connections. Don't let this forum make you think you're no more than just your numbers.

bk1 wrote:Do you know what lawyers actually do? If no, go find out before you decide you want to be a lawyer. If yes then make sure that is what you want to do before going to law school.

You're going to need a 170+ LSAT to make law school worthwhile, imo. And you don't need to know anything about the American judicial system to go to law school, but you really should have an idea of what lawyers do before you decide to become one.

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lawschool899
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby lawschool899 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:37 am

I PM'ed you!

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MachineLemon
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby MachineLemon » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:46 am

cutecarmel wrote: The last attorney I worked for didn't do well on the LSAT, went to a TTTT law school, but has his own successful law firm because he is charismatic and has lots of connections. Don't let this forum make you think you're no more than just your numbers.

Certainly, you can be quite successful out of a lower ranked school, but the odds are not in your favor. I would imagine your former employer graduated before the job market got so bad--that makes a big difference. The problem is you can't consider yourself an exception. You can't know that you'll end up at the top of your class. You can't know how your charisma will serve you when you graduate. You can't know you'll find a lucrative or rewarding job. You just don't know.

You have to look at the situation for people with median grades and median personal charm. Gambling 120k on your high self-esteem is a bad plan.

Pride goeth before the Fall (of 2012).

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expelliarmus
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby expelliarmus » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:46 am

I never thought about med school, but I think we have sort of taken the same classes: since I major in physics and phil, and also minor in chem (which requires a lot of pre-med classes).
I don't think your science GPA matters all that much.
You should really consider what you want to do in the future, instead of rushing into a school you might not enjoy at all.

JK910
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby JK910 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:47 am

Same situation as you... Undergrad GPA will definitely hold you back (it held me back). I would recommend taking a year or two off from school and work fulltime. Find out what your strengths and weaknesses are in the real. Once you figure out your strengths and passion, do something with it; have accomplishments, make a difference. You'll need this to help show why a school should take a risk with your GPA and admit you and that you're serious about law school and not just another undecided, non mature college kid.

Don't fret too much about it though. I took pre-med classes (long after undergrad graduation) as recently as this spring and it hasn't been held against me. However, I was able to clearly articulate in personal statement the reasons why I eventually decided upon law school instead.

LSAT above 165 will be necessary for you with that GPA if you want $$ at a good regional level school, no way around that.

ihhwap1
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Postby ihhwap1 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:57 am

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bk1
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby bk1 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:37 pm

cutecarmel wrote:Agree with the first part 100%, but not with the second. Plenty of people get into good law schools and get good jobs with LSAT scores lower than 170. The last attorney I worked for didn't do well on the LSAT, went to a TTTT law school, but has his own successful law firm because he is charismatic and has lots of connections. Don't let this forum make you think you're no more than just your numbers.


That person would have been successful whether he came from Yale or Cooley. But the fact of the matter is that most people don't have that kind of charisma nor do they have those kinds of connections. The truth is that most grads of shitty schools are drowning beneath a pile of debt and many of them can't even get jobs at the bottom of the legal industry.

Since OP has such a low GPA, a 170+ is about the score I think it would take for law school to be a decent financial idea. Were OP's GPA higher then a lower LSAT score would be feasible but with so close to a 3.0 it really isn't.

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PennQuaker
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby PennQuaker » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:39 pm

Is there NOT a search function? We just had a thread the other day comparing being an MD vs. being a lawyer

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hyakku
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby hyakku » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:56 am

I've got a question for all the people that are saying take years off, etc. I'm not saying that's a bad idea, but at the same time I'm curious as to what you all were doing from ages 15-21 if you weren't working while going to school? Maybe I'm different because I had to work to help out family, but I'll be a K-JD with at least a year and a half of full time work (not stuffing mail, but a combination of working at various offices and firms) by working full time during the past five summers or interning somewhere, and that's not including the additional hundreds of hours logged doing part time work for more trivial jobs.

I'm not trying to brag or rip on anyone, I'm just genuinely curious as to what you all did for so many years that so many haven't had a "real job" for 21-22 years of their life. Extracurriculars don't take THAT much time, and I get out a lot so it's not as though you can't socialize. Just genuinely curious.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby franklyscarlet » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:59 am

hyakku wrote:I've got a question for all the people that are saying take years off, etc. I'm not saying that's a bad idea, but at the same time I'm curious as to what you all were doing from ages 15-21 if you weren't working while going to school? Maybe I'm different because I had to work to help out family, but I'll be a K-JD with at least a year and a half of full time work (not stuffing mail, but a combination of working at various offices and firms) by working full time during the past five summers or interning somewhere, and that's not including the additional hundreds of hours logged doing part time work for more trivial jobs.

I'm not trying to brag or rip on anyone, I'm just genuinely curious as to what you all did for so many years that so many haven't had a "real job" for 21-22 years of their life. Extracurriculars don't take THAT much time, and I get out a lot so it's not as though you can't socialize. Just genuinely curious.


I worked my way through college and I still say take a few years off. Devoting all your time to a job for multiple years, building workplace contacts, and working within an environment in which you are not a transient summer hire/part timer whose real focus is school is an incredibly valuable experience, if only for putting the stress of law school into perspective! Though, TBF, I would say there are definitely people here who have gone the summer camp counselor, no real jobs route.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:21 pm

Go to medical school. Consider becoming a PA.

062914123
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby 062914123 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:46 pm

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acrossthelake
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:54 pm

Get work experience. Get a 170+ LSAT.

If you don't go get both, you won't be able to get into a school worth going to in this economy with your overall GPA (they won't really make amends for the fact that most of it was science-heavy).

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20130312
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:59 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Get work experience. Get a 170+ LSAT.

If you don't go get both, you won't be able to get into a school worth going to in this economy with your overall GPA (they won't really make amends for the fact that most of it was science-heavy).


+1. Also, it will give you time to focus on what you actually want to do for a career, since it sounds like you are just shooting off at the hip.

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hyakku
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby hyakku » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:02 pm

franklyscarlet wrote:
hyakku wrote:I've got a question for all the people that are saying take years off, etc. I'm not saying that's a bad idea, but at the same time I'm curious as to what you all were doing from ages 15-21 if you weren't working while going to school? Maybe I'm different because I had to work to help out family, but I'll be a K-JD with at least a year and a half of full time work (not stuffing mail, but a combination of working at various offices and firms) by working full time during the past five summers or interning somewhere, and that's not including the additional hundreds of hours logged doing part time work for more trivial jobs.

I'm not trying to brag or rip on anyone, I'm just genuinely curious as to what you all did for so many years that so many haven't had a "real job" for 21-22 years of their life. Extracurriculars don't take THAT much time, and I get out a lot so it's not as though you can't socialize. Just genuinely curious.


I worked my way through college and I still say take a few years off. Devoting all your time to a job for multiple years, building workplace contacts, and working within an environment in which you are not a transient summer hire/part timer whose real focus is school is an incredibly valuable experience, if only for putting the stress of law school into perspective! Though, TBF, I would say there are definitely people here who have gone the summer camp counselor, no real jobs route.


Oh yea I agree, don't think I'm in any way hating on the taking time off route. I really am just legitimately curious. I think that perspective is fair as well. I guess just stressing constantly with work and managing bills so often seems to be the norm for me that I forget sometimes that it's not for most people my age. Can't complain though, I'm sure both types of lifestyles are equally fulfilling. I just know that most of my friends like that without the "real job" type of gigs generally are well off and aren't in majors that really require interning per se, so I could never really gain this type of perspective.

Bee that's awesome and I think that you should be really appreciative of that. My parents always wanted me to and although I never had so many experiences, I was fortunate enough to be able to experience a piece of that type of life and intern internationally over the summer. I absolutely don't want to try to put down your experience, rereading my post it may have came off that way, but I know there are so many ways to experience an enriching life. I guess I should've said I'm more confused by the people that don't work, but also complain about having nothing to do or a boring life style. Jet setting and working internationally certainly isn't one of those :lol:

acrossthelake
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:04 pm

hyakku wrote:I've got a question for all the people that are saying take years off, etc. I'm not saying that's a bad idea, but at the same time I'm curious as to what you all were doing from ages 15-21 if you weren't working while going to school? Maybe I'm different because I had to work to help out family, but I'll be a K-JD with at least a year and a half of full time work (not stuffing mail, but a combination of working at various offices and firms) by working full time during the past five summers or interning somewhere, and that's not including the additional hundreds of hours logged doing part time work for more trivial jobs.

I'm not trying to brag or rip on anyone, I'm just genuinely curious as to what you all did for so many years that so many haven't had a "real job" for 21-22 years of their life. Extracurriculars don't take THAT much time, and I get out a lot so it's not as though you can't socialize. Just genuinely curious.


When people talk about "real jobs" of work experience they're referring to actual full-time 40-hr+ work weeks for longer than the summer. It's incredibly normal for people not to be doing that while in school. Neither did you, it seems. Though correct me if I'm misreading your paragraph.


Also, as someone who didn't really work "real jobs" in the 15-21 range....no need. I worked part-time jobs, but I tended to go after summer jobs such as being a research assistant. Plus schoolwork just genuinely took up a lot of time.

062914123
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby 062914123 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:12 pm

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pre-med person
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Re: Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

Postby pre-med person » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:27 pm

why don't you want to do medicine? What happened that you don't think it would make you happy?

If you got a 159 diagnostic it's not unreasonable to expect high 160s if not low 170s actual score. Plus you can get into patent work since you are qualified to take the patent bar with your science degree. Attorneys with science degrees are limited so that puts you at an advantage.




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