Pre-Med student considering Law School. Need advice?

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

Postby hyakku » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:51 pm

acrossthelake 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.


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.


Perhaps thats what you mean, but I simply consider a "real job" something someone does for salary. Whether you work it for a year or five seems to be irrelevant to me in terms of classifying the job. I've had 50+ hour work weeks when working doing the same tasks next to people supporting a family with the same job. I'm sure many others have as well. Outside of technical jobs, the American workplace generally isn't an astoundingly challenging environment.

But yea I see how my post could be misconstrued. For me, I generally work 20-30 hours during the school week and 40+ when off at my present job. Like I said, i don't think anyone is wrong in anyway for taking time off, and I definitely could see some ways I could probably benefit from it that I would consider more heavily if I had the luxury. I just see this sentiment so often on this board to get a years worth of work experience in the "real world" and always wonder how people spent 12-15 months of summer at the minimum not in the "real world". Sometimes I forget to step out of my perspective though.


Also, I reslly need to be better terms than real world and real jobs.

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

Postby 20130312 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:00 pm

Having worked in both a retail and an office environment while in school, I can assure you that it is hella different to work in the exact same office after graduating. Don't know why, but that's just my experience.

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

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:21 pm

hyakku wrote:
Perhaps thats what you mean, but I simply consider a "real job" something someone does for salary. Whether you work it for a year or five seems to be irrelevant to me in terms of classifying the job. I've had 50+ hour work weeks when working doing the same tasks next to people supporting a family with the same job. I'm sure many others have as well. Outside of technical jobs, the American workplace generally isn't an astoundingly challenging environment.

But yea I see how my post could be misconstrued. For me, I generally work 20-30 hours during the school week and 40+ when off at my present job. Like I said, i don't think anyone is wrong in anyway for taking time off, and I definitely could see some ways I could probably benefit from it that I would consider more heavily if I had the luxury. I just see this sentiment so often on this board to get a years worth of work experience in the "real world" and always wonder how people spent 12-15 months of summer at the minimum not in the "real world". Sometimes I forget to step out of my perspective though.


Also, I reslly need to be better terms than real world and real jobs.


I mean that when I say that because I'm pretty sure that's what law school admissions offices mean when they talk about people getting work experience. I don't have a personal opinion as whether summer jobs count, it's just my understanding that the admissions office does and doesn't count it.

The sentiment on the board is driven two-fold:
1) The first, for admissions sake. Schools love to tout what % of students worked for how many years before going to law school. Employers look for it.
2) I think it's not just for the value of working at a "real" job, but also for just being on your own paying rent, managing your life in a way you don't in college, etc. Some people do this before graduating college(like you), but a lot don't. I still don't, since I'm a K-JD that went through. (Using loans just doesn't feel the same.)

I had maybe 3 friends in undergrad who worked part-time because they actually needed the money, and 1 in high school. Everyone else who worked did it because the job itself was useful for school(teaching assistant or research assistant) or for pocket money or because it was a stepping stone for their career (consulting/finance intern---> job at Goldman Sachs, that sorta thing).

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

Postby hyakku » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:24 pm

AH I see what you mean. I'm also worried now, I listed my individual stints in which I worked consistent 40 hour work weeks on the LSAC app in the section they asked for full time hours. From the way I read it I thought they meant any job that I worked 40 hours or more a week, and I tried to make it clear on my resume and app when I was working full time and not (I didn't put two years for instance at my current job when I've only done 6 months full time). Do you think I should email my schools letting them know? I've already been accepted into GULC but I don't want any discrepancies to make it seem like I was trying to cheat them.

I understand now more what you guys mean when stating this. I still think people can cultivate alot of real world skills over the years in university, but I think you are right; having to manage your own bills and rent is something that's difficult on a level I couldn't really comprehend until I had to do it myself, and I still am immature as all hell at times. Point taken.

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

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:53 pm

hyakku wrote:AH I see what you mean. I'm also worried now, I listed my individual stints in which I worked consistent 40 hour work weeks on the LSAC app in the section they asked for full time hours. From the way I read it I thought they meant any job that I worked 40 hours or more a week, and I tried to make it clear on my resume and app when I was working full time and not (I didn't put two years for instance at my current job when I've only done 6 months full time). Do you think I should email my schools letting them know? I've already been accepted into GULC but I don't want any discrepancies to make it seem like I was trying to cheat them.

I understand now more what you guys mean when stating this. I still think people can cultivate alot of real world skills over the years in university, but I think you are right; having to manage your own bills and rent is something that's difficult on a level I couldn't really comprehend until I had to do it myself, and I still am immature as all hell at times. Point taken.


Nah that's probably correct of where to list it in your app. No worries there, no need to correct it. They'll be able to see clearly from your dates what you mean. I'm just saying that when law schools list those stats or talk about it in interviews, when they talk about people with "work experience", they're talking about people who took time off. I think they *like* it if you do something useful with your summers, that's just not what they're referring to. Grats on GULC.

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

Postby Veyron » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:56 pm

Advice? Go to med school!

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

Postby Samara » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:00 pm

hyakku wrote:AH I see what you mean. I'm also worried now, I listed my individual stints in which I worked consistent 40 hour work weeks on the LSAC app in the section they asked for full time hours. From the way I read it I thought they meant any job that I worked 40 hours or more a week, and I tried to make it clear on my resume and app when I was working full time and not (I didn't put two years for instance at my current job when I've only done 6 months full time). Do you think I should email my schools letting them know? I've already been accepted into GULC but I don't want any discrepancies to make it seem like I was trying to cheat them.

I understand now more what you guys mean when stating this. I still think people can cultivate alot of real world skills over the years in university, but I think you are right; having to manage your own bills and rent is something that's difficult on a level I couldn't really comprehend until I had to do it myself, and I still am immature as all hell at times. Point taken.

Don't worry about contacting the schools, they'll figure out what you mean from your resume.

On a more philosophical note, what ATL said is definitely credited. I worked during college and I will have over fours years of post-grad WE when I enroll this fall. It's definitely different. Obviously, it's not the workload and I paid for everything during college except insurance and tuition. There's something about working and only working that makes it different. I feel like there is so much support at college that you don't realize how different it is to be on your own. It's not that it's a hard transition necessarily and it's not like you can't be successful or mature without post-grad WE. But I do think that it's a valuable experience and I encourage anyone to take time off between UG and LS. I think you'd have a much better idea of what you want to do and be a much more developed person.

I think it's also a function of the job type being different. I did an internship at a state government agency while in college and then worked there after I graduated. While I did essentially the same job, simply the fact that I was a self-determined, full-fledged employee made a big difference. At most (all?) internships and part-time jobs, your work is much more directed and your responsibilities are much less or your organization is much less dependent on them than when you have a "real" job. I think that's one of the biggest reasons biglaw employers favor applicants with post-grad WE.

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

Postby Med2law » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:57 am

bk1 wrote:
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.


Thank you! I am definitely thinking about aiming high. And this isn't just something I concocted recently. I was slightly interested in law even before starting college but my family convinced me I'd be better off at a medical school since they thought that my English and reading wasn't good enough to get me into a law school. That's also one of the slightly less relevant reasons why I majored in English but mostly because I like it.

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

Postby Med2law » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:02 am

fltanglab wrote: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.


Yeah, I mostly took science classes (way more than I needed to) and I only took enough English classes to satisfy my major. I have most A's and a few B+ and a few A-'s. My school counts B+ as 3.30 and A-'s as 3.6.

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

Postby Med2law » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:07 am

pre-med person wrote: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.


Well for one, I am not good at science. If I could only make a 2.9 in college science classes it's pretty reasonable that I won't do well in med school (if I get accepted that is) AND the big fact that the doctors that I interned with (pathologist and radiologists) are all pretty good at what they do but I found their jobs pretty boring. The big reason why I even went into medicine is because my family always told me how good of a doctor I'd be. When people tell you things numerous times, you start to believe them. Now I'm reconsidering and doing what I want to do and not what my family thinks I should. Because they told me I could, I thought that medicine was the only field for me.


I really just took my diagnostics without really knowing what LSAT really tests since I wasn't going to kid myself into taking LSAT if I couldn't get a good score to begin with. I felt that 159 is improvable with dedication and hard work. And thanks for the info, I didn't know that. I'm talking to my dad's best friend (Immigration lawyer) when he comes over to dinner on Christmas eve. I'll definitely be considering his advice seriously.

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

Postby Med2law » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:57 pm

TylerM wrote:
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.


Thanks will do that!

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

Postby hyakku » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:42 pm

Med2law wrote:
pre-med person wrote: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.


Well for one, I am not good at science. If I could only make a 2.9 in college science classes it's pretty reasonable that I won't do well in med school (if I get accepted that is) AND the big fact that the doctors that I interned with (pathologist and radiologists) are all pretty good at what they do but I found their jobs pretty boring. The big reason why I even went into medicine is because my family always told me how good of a doctor I'd be. When people tell you things numerous times, you start to believe them. Now I'm reconsidering and doing what I want to do and not what my family thinks I should. Because they told me I could, I thought that medicine was the only field for me.


I really just took my diagnostics without really knowing what LSAT really tests since I wasn't going to kid myself into taking LSAT if I couldn't get a good score to begin with. I felt that 159 is improvable with dedication and hard work. And thanks for the info, I didn't know that. I'm talking to my dad's best friend (Immigration lawyer) when he comes over to dinner on Christmas eve. I'll definitely be considering his advice seriously.


Honestly, if you PTed a 159 cold without knowing what the LSAT is, you're in great shape to shatter that 170 barrier provided you can dedicate yourself and focus. To put this in perspective, I had a cursory glance through PS logic game bibles and some online sites talking about the LSAT before I PTed my diag and I think I got like a 161 and I went over time twice. My real diag. was likely a 157-159. I performed "poorly" in comparison to my last practice tests when I took my LSAT in Oct. And still made it out with a 170.

You seem to have a much better idea of what you want now than in previous years (not that i know you, just off of your posts) so as long as you can keep that goal in mind I think you can break 170. And I agree with the above poster, you should aim for a damn 180. Don't kill yourself trying to achieve it, but you know the bit about shooting at the moon and landing amongst stars.

Good luck whether you decide to postpone application or whatever you eventually decide.




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