research background a pro/con to admission?

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lilshortguh618
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:57 am

research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby lilshortguh618 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:59 am

Hello. I recently posted this in the PS forum, but only got one reply. Perhaps someone else can give me their two cents?
-----

I recently decided to change my career goals (from seeking PhD in Clinical Psych to specializing in Family and Immigration Law). Before I start asking my questions, let me tell you about my background.

Why all of a sudden career change?
All of my baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate experiences (3 yrs worth) have been in the research area (clinical trials, intimate partner violence and family/couples research, sexual traumas). I conducted an independent research project on sexual aggression (rape and coercion) in newlywed couples and the findings I found was very appalling. Sexual aggression is highly prevalent in normal, reported-happy couples in the early years of marriage (similar rates to what other previous studies) and the consequences of the aftermath is worst than stranger rape. I also found that although fifty states criminalize spousal rape, it is still considered a lesser crime than stranger rape. Hence, the existence of marital rape exemption in some states. Knowing this last bit of info is what really makes me want to pursue a career in law.

Experience:
I do not have any experiences in the legal system or partake in any school organizations. Although, I did mentored and taught English to new immigration students during my first 2 yrs of college. I had been out of school for a year now and is currently conducting research at the VA (for almost 2 yrs). I graduated with an overall GPA 3.22 and last two-yrs GPA of 3.59. I really screwed up on my first 2 yrs of college GPA and I can go on and on about why. Short story: I had kids and worked during school time. I pulled my gpa from below a 2.0 to above a 3.0 in 2 yrs.

Now my questions:

1. Is it common for applicants to have a research background?
2. Will my research background weaken my application b/c it looks like I'm more of an applicant for PhD programs instead?
3. Any suggestions on how I should approach my PS?
4. Do you think I have a shot in applying?

That's all for right now. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post! Have a great day!

LargeNinCharge
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:27 am

Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby LargeNinCharge » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:08 pm

Bump

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North
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Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby North » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:44 pm

1. Yes. Maybe not as extensive as yours, but yes.
2. Not at all.
3. You sound passionate about fighting sexual violence, write something about that and how it informs your desire to practice law. This is much less important, however, than...
4. Study for the LSAT for as long as you have to to break 170 on a real exam. You have a low GPA, so, if you want law school to be a sound investment, you need to work hard to become a splitter. Though it seems that you might have a good story to tell, you might want to think less about your PS and more about the LSAT. Law school admissions are 40% GPA, 50% LSAT, and 10% everything else. Concentrate on the LSAT. There's a lot of very good advice and many support groups in the LSAT forum on this website.

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Br3v
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Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby Br3v » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:04 pm

TL;dr

But research will only help if anything at all

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cutecarmel
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:39 pm

Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby cutecarmel » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:50 pm

1. Well its not UNcommon
2. No
3. What can you do as a lawyer that you can't do as a psychiatrist
4. Yea

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cinephile
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Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby cinephile » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:49 am

Law schools really don't care, so it'll neither help nor hurt you. However, it may help you when looking for internships, etc. in family law.

I didn't see an LSAT score, but if your LSAT is decent then of course you have a shot.

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ben4847
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:56 am

You want to be a lawyer because you found one law you don't like? What will you do if that law is changed to your liking?

jgloster
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:53 pm

Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby jgloster » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:24 am

Can someone make a sticky thread saying that LSAT, GPA, and URM-status are all that matters, and asking about anything else is stupid?

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: research background a pro/con to admission?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:28 am

jgloster wrote:Can someone make a sticky thread saying that LSAT, GPA, and URM-status are all that matters, and asking about anything else is stupid?


Considering that's not true, it probably won't happen.




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