Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

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ERM115
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Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby ERM115 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:50 pm

So I am a 23 year old currently working on my Master's in Earth and Environmental Science at Syracuse and I have decided that upon finishing it I am going to apply to Law school. I was just wondering if anyone here knew whether this degree would better my chances of getting into a better Law School or if it would hinder or simply make no difference in their eyes. Thanks.

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Nightrunner
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby Nightrunner » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:54 pm

ERM115 wrote:So I am a 23 year old currently working on my Master's in Earth and Environmental Science at Syracuse and I have decided that upon finishing it I am going to apply to Law school. I was just wondering if anyone here knew whether this degree would better my chances of getting into a better Law School or if it would hinder or simply make no difference in their eyes. Thanks.

Most of the time: little to no difference.

On some occasions, it can help fit into a narrative (e.g., "I'm amazingly dedicated to environmental causes, as evidenced by my gigantic list of jobs and service, as well as taking the time to work on this here Masters degree"; or, less commonly, "my 3.1 GPA in undergrad was because I was 17 and stupid; note that I got a 4.0 in my junior and senior years, and I'm killing a Masters' program.").

Generally, it is a small, soft bump - but AdComms have to report numbers, and this ain't one of them.

bp shinners
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:30 pm

Nightrunner wrote:
ERM115 wrote:So I am a 23 year old currently working on my Master's in Earth and Environmental Science at Syracuse and I have decided that upon finishing it I am going to apply to Law school. I was just wondering if anyone here knew whether this degree would better my chances of getting into a better Law School or if it would hinder or simply make no difference in their eyes. Thanks.

Most of the time: little to no difference.

On some occasions, it can help fit into a narrative (e.g., "I'm amazingly dedicated to environmental causes, as evidenced by my gigantic list of jobs and service, as well as taking the time to work on this here Masters degree"; or, less commonly, "my 3.1 GPA in undergrad was because I was 17 and stupid; note that I got a 4.0 in my junior and senior years, and I'm killing a Masters' program.").

Generally, it is a small, soft bump - but AdComms have to report numbers, and this ain't one of them.


The one caveat here is that if you do poorly in the program, that will hurt you more than doing well will help you.

PolySuyGuy
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby PolySuyGuy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:40 pm

ERM115 wrote:So I am a 23 year old currently working on my Master's in Earth and Environmental Science at Syracuse and I have decided that upon finishing it I am going to apply to Law school. I was just wondering if anyone here knew whether this degree would better my chances of getting into a better Law School or if it would hinder or simply make no difference in their eyes. Thanks.



It betters your chances of getting into law school. Some schools however refuse to even look at any graduate degree work. The place it helps the best is when you are looking for summer work and a job.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:43 pm

It shouldn't hurt, but whether or not it helps depends upon how you portray it on your law school applications.

collegebum1989
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby collegebum1989 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:48 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:It shouldn't hurt, but whether or not it helps depends upon how you portray it on your law school applications.


What do you mean by how you portray in applications? As in within the resume and/or the personal statement?

My mentor told me it was a good idea to have one of my recommenders (who is a faculty member of my graduate program) comment on the difficulty of the program and the how the grades are represented. This made me consider whether to get a third LOR from the director of my graduate program to describe the program itself so adcomm's have an understanding of what my graduate program was like and how I compared to my peers. Would this help at all?

My scenario is similar, undergrad at state school with low GPA (~3.2), masters at an Ivy and graduated at top of my class (~3.95). Although graduate grades are inflated, the difficulty of my masters program surpassed my undergraduate.

Both my degrees are also in engineering, so they also help in employment. Would this further support the application?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:51 pm

How you relate it to you desire to attend law school & to practice law.

collegebum1989
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:23 pm

didn't mention grad school specifically in my PS, but did state how I wanted to use my engineering experience to practice law. So is it then implicitly stated? Or should I focus more on grad school?

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howlery
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby howlery » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:47 pm

Are there any MA programs that might be particularly useful for OCI outside of econ/finance? I'm thinking of pursuing an MA in Spanish or something provided that it is close to if not fully funded.

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TheThriller
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby TheThriller » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:02 pm

If you enter a masters science program with an BA, does the degree allow you to sit for patent bar/allow you to work hard IP?

collegebum1989
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Re: Will My Masters Degree Help or Hinder my chances

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:38 pm

http://www.patentbarstudy.com/exam/qualifications.html

Seems like you can qualify with satisfactory coursework (required credit-hours) during your masters if you do not have a undergraduate degree in science/engineering.

However, just because you qualify for the patent bar does not mean you will be employable upon graduating from law school. If your goal is prosecution, your technical background will be more important than your legal training, so your undergraduate background will be a factor. If you are interested in litigation, I've heard that it doesn't matter as much.




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