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Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:10 pm
by banjo
Hey guys,

LSAT: 176 (Dec '11), 164 ('09, with convincing addendum)
LSDAS GPA: 3.76

I'm working on a PhD in legal history (funded, no debt expected) and I'm wondering whether I should finish. I have about three years left. I always planned to go to law school afterwards, but now I'm wondering whether I should just drop out and apply to law school this September. I don't hate my program, and it's a pretty reputable one, but I'm not passionate about it anymore.

Pros of dropping out:
-I start climbing the career ladder three years earlier (and three years younger -- I'm currently 25)
-I start earning a decent salary (possibly a big law salary) three years earlier

Cons of dropping out:
-I lose out on a good soft on my application; dropping out may even hurt my app a bit
-I close the door slightly on an academic position in law
-I lose out on strong letters of recommendation from senior faculty who have known me for years.
-I'll be applying with an older, lower LSAT score on my record that will disappear if I stay and finish
-I'll be entering a weak legal job market

I know I've listed many more cons than pros, but I am seriously considering dropping out (which is why I retook the LSAT this December). I'm pretty divided right now. I'm making this a poll so more people respond. Thanks!

Re: Finish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:18 pm
by dietcoke0
Looking for Biglaw? I say leave. Looking to teach? I say stay.

You getting a full ride with stipends? Might be better to goof off before selling your soul to law school and biglaw.

Also some schools only look at a LSAT for 3 years, so it might drop off before you cash in on it. On the other hand, the other score may drop off in 3 years, meaning it looks like you pulled a 176 out of nothing.

You probably can't go wrong, follow your heart.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:22 pm
by No13baby
Not unless you're planning on working in Finland after law school, no.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:23 pm
by Bildungsroman
There's Norway you should Finnish this PhD, unless schools will look positively on it and Sweden the pot. If they will, Denmark me down as someone who supports this.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:30 pm
by Cade McNown
Bildungsroman wrote:There's Norway you should Finnish this PhD, unless schools will look positively on it and Sweden the pot. If they will, Denmark me down as someone who supports this.

LOL, best post evarrr.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:37 pm
by bhan87
If you're going to have no debt I'd wait it out. The economy is showing signs of recovery, but it's far from stable. Your 176 will be good for 2 more years after you finish your PhD so you'll have a decent amount of time to decide.

Also, as a side note, the number of law school professors with PhD's is increasing. Not sure if you're still interested in going into academia, but if your PhD doesn't net you a tenure-track position, you could enter law school as a second opportunity to enter as a law professor or completely change directions to the private sector.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:40 pm
by smokeylarue
Bildungsroman wrote:There's Norway you should Finnish this PhD, unless schools will look positively on it and Sweden the pot. If they will, Denmark me down as someone who supports this.


This is too good.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:41 pm
by Grizz
bhan87 wrote:If you're going to have no debt I'd wait it out. The economy is showing signs of recovery, but it's far from stable. Your 176 will be good for 2 more years after you finish your PhD so you'll have a decent amount of time to decide.

Also, as a side note, the number of law school professors with PhD's is increasing. Not sure if you're still interested in going into academia, but if your PhD doesn't net you a tenure-track position, you could enter law school as a second opportunity to enter as a law professor or completely change directions to the private sector.

Guessing there's not a lot of demand for scholarship in legal history.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:50 pm
by vpintz
Bildungsroman wrote:There's Norway you should Finnish this PhD, unless schools will look positively on it and Sweden the pot. If they will, Denmark me down as someone who supports this.

The actual best post on TLS.

Re: Finnish PhD before law school?

Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:51 pm
by duckmoney
Bildungsroman wrote:There's Norway you should Finnish this PhD, unless schools will look positively on it and Sweden the pot. If they will, Denmark me down as someone who supports this.


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