PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

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Economist Erik
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PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby Economist Erik » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi all,
I have a PhD in economics from Northwestern University (ranked #7 among econ PhD programs), and have published a number of articles on legal issues such as antitrust and intellectual property, some in legal journals and one in a legal textbook. Essentially all of my research has been on legal subjects. I also garnered a 3.99 GPA as an undergrad.

My question is this: Will my prior experience allow me to gain admittance to an elite program without achieving an elite LSAT score?

I ask because I do not have much time to study the LSAT, nor am I particularly motivated to do this...

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

florida1949
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby florida1949 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:29 pm

What would you consider elite? Have you taken a diagnostic?

Economist Erik
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby Economist Erik » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:43 pm

florida1949 wrote:What would you consider elite? Have you taken a diagnostic?


Based on what I've done so far, I think I'd score in the 160-165 range if I took the test today.

florida1949
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby florida1949 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:50 pm

Economist Erik wrote:
florida1949 wrote:What would you consider elite? Have you taken a diagnostic?


Based on what I've done so far, I think I'd score in the 160-165 range if I took the test today.


If you score in that range, you would (very likely) not get into what I would consider 'elite' schools unless you are a URM.

Fitz51
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby Fitz51 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Economist Erik wrote:
florida1949 wrote:What would you consider elite? Have you taken a diagnostic?


Based on what I've done so far, I think I'd score in the 160-165 range if I took the test today.


I think the consensus is going to be that it's possible, but you'll be praying the entire way.

No matter how much it hurts going through it, if you get the score up to 170, you have a shot at Yale.

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sinfiery
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby sinfiery » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Harvard has a whole part of their application where you can tell them about your research papers. It's limited to 200 (maybe 250?) characters though.

That's all I know, good luck.

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dingbat
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby dingbat » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:09 pm

Economist Erik wrote:My question is this: Will my prior experience allow me to gain admittance to an elite program without achieving an elite LSAT score?
The short answer is yes. Schools do take this into consideration. However, it is very hard to predict how much of an effect it will have.
Economist Erik wrote:I ask because I do not have much time to study the LSAT, nor am I particularly motivated to do this...
If you're not motivated to study for the LSAT, you're not motivated to go to law school. If you're not motivated to go to law school, you shouldn't go.

Why do you want to go to law school?

Economist Erik
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby Economist Erik » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:32 pm

dingbat wrote:
Economist Erik wrote:My question is this: Will my prior experience allow me to gain admittance to an elite program without achieving an elite LSAT score?
The short answer is yes. Schools do take this into consideration. However, it is very hard to predict how much of an effect it will have.
Economist Erik wrote:I ask because I do not have much time to study the LSAT, nor am I particularly motivated to do this...
If you're not motivated to study for the LSAT, you're not motivated to go to law school. If you're not motivated to go to law school, you shouldn't go.

Why do you want to go to law school?


What I am sure of is that I want to be a professor of antitrust and intellectual property policy. There are certainly economists who focus on these areas, but my own research tends to be more policy minded, placing less emphasis on mathematical rigor and technique. Until recently I had planned on entering the economics job market next year, in which case I probably would have gotten a decent first appointment (probably in a school of business or management), judging by the placement of others with similar interests and publication records. But my dissertation committee members and several law professors I've spoken with have told me that I could likely do considerably better on the law school market, provided I get a JD. This is my primary reason for wanting to go.

Also I'm relatively young (24), and some schools are wary of hiring professors younger than 26 or 27, so it wouldn't hurt to be a bit older before hitting the market.

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abcde12345
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby abcde12345 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:05 pm

Economist Erik wrote:What I am sure of is that I want to be a professor of antitrust and intellectual property policy. There are certainly economists who focus on these areas, but my own research tends to be more policy minded, placing less emphasis on mathematical rigor and technique. Until recently I had planned on entering the economics job market next year, in which case I probably would have gotten a decent first appointment (probably in a school of business or management), judging by the placement of others with similar interests and publication records. But my dissertation committee members and several law professors I've spoken with have told me that I could likely do considerably better on the law school market, provided I get a JD. This is my primary reason for wanting to go.

Also I'm relatively young (24), and some schools are wary of hiring professors younger than 26 or 27, so it wouldn't hurt to be a bit older before hitting the market.


That's a great and compelling reason to go. But while that confers some advantage (it shows that you have a clear concept of why you want to do law that others might not have), it certainly doesn't put you above the LSAT. Soft factors are rarely enough to put you above that. Don't sell yourself short by under-prepping on the LSAT. Study until your diagnostics are consistently above 170, and ideally around 175 or so (because you'll most likely go down on test day). Good luck.

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dingbat
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Re: PhD in economics and scholarship experience?

Postby dingbat » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:26 pm

More importantly, if you want to be a professor, you shouldn't go anywhere lower than Columbia or Chicago, but should be shooting for Yale, and to a lesser extent Stanford and Harvard.

The good news is that Yale is particularly welcoming to those who express a clear desire to go into academia. The bad news is you will need to get a good LSAT - at a bare minimum in the high 160s, but you should shoot for 170+.




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