Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

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MD to JD
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Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:34 pm

I am a subspecialist MD who trained at two of the usnews top 10 hospitals/medical schools, and works at another. I am a graduate of medical training programs that have top 14 law schools. I'm in my early 30s, and am very successful and good at what I do. I make a much better than average salary for physicians, have generous benefits, and plenty of vacation time, with a better than average schedule. I've paid off my student loans since finishing fellowship.

Why post here? I am seriously considering a career change to becoming a lawyer.

I haven't sat for the LSAT, and my GPA is > 10 years old and wasn't even that great.

How will law schools view me? Does my experience as being top of my field in medicine help me? Do I have a shot at HYSCCN, and most importantly, how would the coveted jobs of Biglaw view a mid 30s ex-top physician when it comes for jobs? Would my medical training/experience be valuable?

Medicine is going down the tubes, and being a top big law lawyer has some appeal to me. Is this pie in the sky?

Thanks in advance to all who answer.

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catwomangirl
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby catwomangirl » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:36 pm

MD to JD wrote:I am a subspecialist MD who trained at two of the usnews top 10 hospitals/medical schools, and works at another. I am a graduate of medical training programs that have top 14 law schools. I'm in my early 30s, and am very successful and good at what I do. I make a much better than average salary for physicians, have generous benefits, and plenty of vacation time, with a better than average schedule. I've paid off my student loans since finishing fellowship.

Why post here? I am seriously considering a career change to becoming a lawyer.

I haven't sat for the LSAT, and my GPA is > 10 years old and wasn't even that great.

How will law schools view me? Does my experience as being top of my field in medicine help me? Do I have a shot at HYSCCN, and most importantly, how would the coveted jobs of Biglaw view a mid 30s ex-top physician when it comes for jobs? Would my medical training/experience be valuable?

Medicine is going down the tubes, and being a top big law lawyer has some appeal to me. Is this pie in the sky?

Thanks in advance to all who answer.


Not sure if you are real or not. Your life sounds damned good. Before we get to how law schools view you, why are you interested in a career change at all?

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joemoviebuff
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby joemoviebuff » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:38 pm

I think you'd be fucking crazy to go to law school now.

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BearState
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby BearState » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:39 pm

LOL, medicine going down the tubes? Its all rosy in the legal industry.

I know a heart surgeon who attended his local law school part time so he could meet some of his own legal needs. I think that sounds best.

ETA probably flame.

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superbloom
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby superbloom » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:40 pm

Almost got me.

MD to JD
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:45 pm

I understand how this looks. I'm real, and life is great.

Medicine is fast changing, and often boring. Working for a big law firm in their London/Hong Kong office doing big corporate work seems more appealing.

I won't make the jump unless I am pretty sure I can practice law at the same level I practice medicine: at the top of my game.

Maybe I'm not communicating my desires well, but I am being honest.

Am I delusional for believing I could achieve the top of the legal profession coming out of my current position? I currently earn mid 500s as a 1099 worker. Is surpassing this as a lawyer not likely? Just seems like the work would be more interesting/intellectual than what I currently do.


catwomangirl wrote:
MD to JD wrote:I am a subspecialist MD who trained at two of the usnews top 10 hospitals/medical schools, and works at another. I am a graduate of medical training programs that have top 14 law schools. I'm in my early 30s, and am very successful and good at what I do. I make a much better than average salary for physicians, have generous benefits, and plenty of vacation time, with a better than average schedule. I've paid off my student loans since finishing fellowship.

Why post here? I am seriously considering a career change to becoming a lawyer.

I haven't sat for the LSAT, and my GPA is > 10 years old and wasn't even that great.

How will law schools view me? Does my experience as being top of my field in medicine help me? Do I have a shot at HYSCCN, and most importantly, how would the coveted jobs of Biglaw view a mid 30s ex-top physician when it comes for jobs? Would my medical training/experience be valuable?

Medicine is going down the tubes, and being a top big law lawyer has some appeal to me. Is this pie in the sky?

Thanks in advance to all who answer.


Not sure if you are real or not. Your life sounds damned good. Before we get to how law schools view you, why are you interested in a career change at all?

MD to JD
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:52 pm

This isn't a flame. Honestly. I know that doesn't help much on the Internet, but it's not.

Admin can see my IP address. While I don't want to be outed, he/she can confirm im not posting from a community college library.

MD to JD
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:53 pm

BearState wrote:LOL, medicine going down the tubes? Its all rosy in the legal industry.

I know a heart surgeon who attended his local law school part time so he could meet some of his own legal needs. I think that sounds best.

ETA probably flame.


Even the top echelons of medicine are about to be brought low.

The same isn't true for the top of biglaw, is it?

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NR3C1
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby NR3C1 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:12 pm

MD to JD wrote:I understand how this looks. I'm real, and life is great.

Medicine is fast changing, and often boring. Working for a big law firm in their London/Hong Kong office doing big corporate work seems more appealing.

I won't make the jump unless I am pretty sure I can practice law at the same level I practice medicine: at the top of my game.

Maybe I'm not communicating my desires well, but I am being honest.

Am I delusional for believing I could achieve the top of the legal profession coming out of my current position? I currently earn mid 500s as a 1099 worker. Is surpassing this as a lawyer not likely? Just seems like the work would be more interesting/intellectual than what I currently do.


Wanna do something meaningful, exciting, and see the world: Join the Armed Forces as an Medical Officer. You certainly won't make more money than in Big Law as an MD, but it will certainly give you an interesting and exciting life, not to mention that the ladies love men in uniform.

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Lovely Ludwig Van
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:15 pm

MD to JD wrote:Am I delusional for believing I could achieve the top of the legal profession coming out of my current position? I currently earn mid 500s as a 1099 worker. Is surpassing this as a lawyer not likely? Just seems like the work would be more interesting/intellectual than what I currently do.


From what I've heard, extremely unlikely. You'd have to make partner at a biglaw firm or be an extremely successful small-law/mid-law practitioner to do so.

MD to JD
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Military medicine is in shambles and shows us the future of civilian medicine if we don't turn things around. I don't want to go from practicing top medicine to military medicine.

NR3C1 wrote:
MD to JD wrote:I understand how this looks. I'm real, and life is great.

Medicine is fast changing, and often boring. Working for a big law firm in their London/Hong Kong office doing big corporate work seems more appealing.

I won't make the jump unless I am pretty sure I can practice law at the same level I practice medicine: at the top of my game.

Maybe I'm not communicating my desires well, but I am being honest.

Am I delusional for believing I could achieve the top of the legal profession coming out of my current position? I currently earn mid 500s as a 1099 worker. Is surpassing this as a lawyer not likely? Just seems like the work would be more interesting/intellectual than what I currently do.


Wanna do something meaningful, exciting, and see the world: Join the Armed Forces as an Medical Officer. You certainly won't make more money than in Big Law as an MD, but it will certainly give you an interesting and exciting life, not to mention that the ladies love men in uniform.

MD to JD
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:22 pm

I thought biglaw partners make 7 figs?

My goal would be to practice law at the top of the field. But first, I need to know if I'd even have the shot to try it.

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:
MD to JD wrote:Am I delusional for believing I could achieve the top of the legal profession coming out of my current position? I currently earn mid 500s as a 1099 worker. Is surpassing this as a lawyer not likely? Just seems like the work would be more interesting/intellectual than what I currently do.


From what I've heard, extremely unlikely. You'd have to make partner at a biglaw firm or be an extremely successful small-law/mid-law practitioner to do so.

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20130312
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby 20130312 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:35 pm

MD to JD wrote:I delusional

score12905
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby score12905 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:37 pm

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Last edited by score12905 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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JCFindley
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby JCFindley » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Alright Doc, here is some straight dope for ya.....

First, I don't know what your chances are at making 7 figures in law are but sure, its possible..... A question to ask would be will you be able to maintain your value as an MD if it doesn't work out? You can't work a lot while in LS but if you could work say one night a week and keep up with your required continuing education it wouldn't be nearly as much of a gamble to try it. You will NOT be making anywhere near what you are making now when you graduate but that isn't to say you can't later..... This is all from an 0L that really doesn't have all the answers above.....

Now, what I do know a little about is your prior experience WILL mean a lot to some schools. You will want to kill the LSAT but as far as your GPA goes there are schools that will care and those that will judge your potential from your experience and not your numbers (even if you don't kill the LSAT.) You will want to explain why you want the career broadening move in your personal statement or addendum but that can be done.... I was in a similar situation and at the top of my career field but mine topped out a lot less than 500k/per so I can in fact make more as an attorney eventually and I was bored stiff flying commercial airliners. I always wanted to be an attorney believe it or not so I decided to do it..... Here is some food for thought, some schools are ALL about the numbers. I was waitlisted at one where I had the average numbers. I was dinged at one that was a reach but I thought might care about the background; they did not. I was actually planning on retaking my LSAT so I could reapply next year but my top choice was actually more holistic about their applicants and not strictly about the numbers so I got in based strictly on "softs" if you will..... So yes, your experience matters but every LS is different so YMMV......

Good luck with your decision....

JC

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dingbat
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby dingbat » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:47 pm

Let's cut this down to something simple.
Take the LSAT.
If you don't score at least 173, stick to being a doctor
If you score 173+, you should be able to get into the schools that will give you a very good chance at biglaw.
Then, if you are still willing to risk it, go for it.
If your grades are below the cutoff for V5, drop out and go back to medicine


You have a great fall-back option, so why not risk it, if that is what you really want to do

abc12345675
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby abc12345675 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:55 pm

If you want to work in London/Hong Kong, why not go get an MBA and work with a bank's healthcare/pharmaceutical group?

score12905
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby score12905 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:02 pm

..
Last edited by score12905 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MD to JD
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:07 pm

score12905 wrote:
MD to JD wrote:I thought biglaw partners make 7 figs?

My goal would be to practice law at the top of the field. But first, I need to know if I'd even have the shot to try it.

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:
MD to JD wrote:Am I delusional for believing I could achieve the top of the legal profession coming out of my current position? I currently earn mid 500s as a 1099 worker. Is surpassing this as a lawyer not likely? Just seems like the work would be more interesting/intellectual than what I currently do.


From what I've heard, extremely unlikely. You'd have to make partner at a biglaw firm or be an extremely successful small-law/mid-law practitioner to do so.


this has to be a flame but i'll entertain you.

yes, you can make 7 figs as a partner but it usually takes more than a handful of years (longer and more complicated than say a residency + a fellowship). factor in the $1.5 million you will not be making while in law school + law school tuition + the salary difference during the 6 years you are an associate and you should think very hard about leaving your profession.

i get that you are bored but in medicine, the floor is high and the ceiling is pretty close above it. if you are indeed as successful as you say, just work harder at what you currently do...or get better at investing. that has to be easier than going to school for 3 years, working for 6 and then hoping to recoup all of your losses and a few additional mill on top of that.

also, doing a residency outside of the top 3 medical schools is not impressive. just want to bring you down to earth.



Not a flame, and I appreciate the honesty. The lost time value of my money is a huge reason why I haven't taken the plunge. The change isn't just about money.

Not sure what your last comment meant about residency outside of a top 3 medical school.

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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:12 pm

Thank you for the insight and thoughtful post.

The change isn't all about money. Like you, I've also wanted to be a lawyer.

Unfortunately, the value of my md will mostly go away once I'm out of clinical practice. Is that how your flying skills are viewed as well?



JCFindley wrote:Alright Doc, here is some straight dope for ya.....

First, I don't kTnow what your chances are at making 7 figures in law are but sure, its possible..... A question to ask would be will you be able to maintain your value as an MD if it doesn't work out? You can't work a lot while in LS but if you could work say one night a week and keep up with your required continuing education it wouldn't be nearly as much of a gamble to try it. You will NOT be making anywhere near what you are making now when you graduate but that isn't to say you can't later..... This is all from an 0L that really doesn't have all the answers above.....

Now, what I do know a little about is your prior experience WILL mean a lot to some schools. You will want to kill the LSAT but as far as your GPA goes there are schools that will care and those that will judge your potential from your experience and not your numbers (even if you don't kill the LSAT.) You will want to explain why you want the career broadening move in your personal statement or addendum but that can be done.... I was in a similar situation and at the top of my career field but mine topped out a lot less than 500k/per so I can in fact make more as an attorney eventually and I was bored stiff flying commercial airliners. I always wanted to be an attorney believe it or not so I decided to do it..... Here is some food for thought, some schools are ALL about the numbers. I was waitlisted at one where I had the average numbers. I was dinged at one that was a reach but I thought might care about the background; they did not. I was actually planning on retaking my LSAT so I could reapply next year but my top choice was actually more holistic about their applicants and not strictly about the numbers so I got in based strictly on "softs" if you will..... So yes, your experience matters but every LS is different so YMMV......

Good luck with your decision....

JC

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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby MD to JD » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:14 pm

dingbat wrote:Let's cut this down to something simple.
Take the LSAT.
If you don't score at least 173, stick to being a doctor
If you score 173+, you should be able to get into the schools that will give you a very good chance at biglaw.
Then, if you are still willing to risk it, go for it.
If your grades are below the cutoff for V5, drop out and go back to medicine


You have a great fall-back option, so why not risk it, if that is what you really want to do


Solid advice. Can you tell me more about v5 versus v100? That means top 5 vault firms, right?

What does that mean in the real world in terms of money and opportunities? I thought all biglaw started at 160.

I guess the first step is to man up and take the LSAT. Perhaps I should avoid law school unless I can score HYS?

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dingbat
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby dingbat » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:16 pm

I'm in a similar boat and it scares the bejesus out of me, but I'm going anyway

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Samara
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby Samara » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:17 pm

MD to JD wrote:Solid advice. Can you tell me more about v5 versus v100? That means top 5 vault firms, right?

What does that mean in the real world in terms of money and opportunities? I thought all biglaw started at 160.

I guess the first step is to man up and take the LSAT. Perhaps I should avoid law school unless I can score HYS?

What's your GPA? If it's below 3.7, you're pretty much out of luck for YSH no matter what you score on the LSAT.

score12905
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby score12905 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:17 pm

..
Last edited by score12905 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JCFindley
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Re: Currently a Subspecialist MD, Considering Law School

Postby JCFindley » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:18 pm

MD to JD wrote:Thank you for the insight and thoughtful post.

The change isn't all about money. Like you, I've also wanted to be a lawyer.

Unfortunately, the value of my md will mostly go away once I'm out of clinical practice. Is that how your flying skills are viewed as well?



JCFindley wrote:Alright Doc, here is some straight dope for ya.....

First, I don't kTnow what your chances are at making 7 figures in law are but sure, its possible..... A question to ask would be will you be able to maintain your value as an MD if it doesn't work out? You can't work a lot while in LS but if you could work say one night a week and keep up with your required continuing education it wouldn't be nearly as much of a gamble to try it. You will NOT be making anywhere near what you are making now when you graduate but that isn't to say you can't later..... This is all from an 0L that really doesn't have all the answers above.....

Now, what I do know a little about is your prior experience WILL mean a lot to some schools. You will want to kill the LSAT but as far as your GPA goes there are schools that will care and those that will judge your potential from your experience and not your numbers (even if you don't kill the LSAT.) You will want to explain why you want the career broadening move in your personal statement or addendum but that can be done.... I was in a similar situation and at the top of my career field but mine topped out a lot less than 500k/per so I can in fact make more as an attorney eventually and I was bored stiff flying commercial airliners. I always wanted to be an attorney believe it or not so I decided to do it..... Here is some food for thought, some schools are ALL about the numbers. I was waitlisted at one where I had the average numbers. I was dinged at one that was a reach but I thought might care about the background; they did not. I was actually planning on retaking my LSAT so I could reapply next year but my top choice was actually more holistic about their applicants and not strictly about the numbers so I got in based strictly on "softs" if you will..... So yes, your experience matters but every LS is different so YMMV......

Good luck with your decision....

JC


Yupp, if you are out of flying currency for a period of time (It varies depending on the airline) you might as well never have flown. So, the only jobs I would be able to get pay around 18K/yr to start..... I have also done some Gov't contracting but when my top secret clearance expires that would also be difficult to get back.....

I have to say, you are right on about military medicine for the most part.... Only thing I liked about it was the cost.




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