I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

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CanIGetAnAmen
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby CanIGetAnAmen » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:57 pm

Suralin wrote:
CanIGetAnAmen wrote:What are the most useful majors that are commonly found for law school student's undergrad degrees.


You haven't sufficiently defined what you mean by "useful." If you mean what's the optimal major for law school admission, the credited answer is whatever will get you a 4.0. If you mean what's the optimal major for doing well on the LSAT, the answer is likely something like philosophy/computer science (look up the stats on the majors that do the best). If you mean the most useful in terms of a backup plan, then the answer is the major that will give you a decent salary straight out of undergrad. If you mean the most useful for legal employment, then it's a technical degree (for ipsecure). I could go on, but you need to do some research--that doesn't mean asking underspecified questions on an online forum.


Basically, I'm talking backup plan. Is history/Psych any good for backup? What about POlysci?

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Borg
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby Borg » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:48 pm

If employment prospects out of a political science degree at Michigan are the reason not to do it but you like the subject, I recommend looking into programs that take a more quantitative approach. I did poli sci in undergrad, but I focused on quantitative methodology and was mainly working with game theory and statistics. I think that background helped me to do some interesting things, because I was basically a combination econ/poli sci/math major, and once employers understood that they were more interested than they otherwise might have been. If you have any inclination towards numbers, I highly recommend it.

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dsn32
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby dsn32 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:35 pm

As for UMich's Poli Sci program, I think you've got so many big-shot professors teaching upper level courses that the subject matter becomes very upper level and the stakes are raised. Also, being that everyone in Poli Sci is gunning for Law School, the environment is very gunner-ish, which is not at all what you're looking for if you're trying to hit a certain number GPA-wise. If you go to UMich, do something like Communication (I was a Comm/PS double major) or try getting into the Ross B-School (they grade inflate like a MF).

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dsn32
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby dsn32 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:38 pm

dsn32 wrote:As for UMich's Poli Sci program, I think you've got so many big-shot professors teaching upper level courses that the subject matter becomes very upper level and the stakes are raised. Also, being that everyone in Poli Sci is gunning for Law School, the environment is very gunner-ish, which is not at all what you're looking for if you're trying to hit a certain number GPA-wise. If you go to UMich, do something like Communication (I was a Comm/PS double major) or try getting into the Ross B-School (they grade inflate like a MF).


Comm and B-School also open up way more doors employment-wise if you decide against Law School.

CanIGetAnAmen
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby CanIGetAnAmen » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:20 pm

dsn32 wrote:
dsn32 wrote:As for UMich's Poli Sci program, I think you've got so many big-shot professors teaching upper level courses that the subject matter becomes very upper level and the stakes are raised. Also, being that everyone in Poli Sci is gunning for Law School, the environment is very gunner-ish, which is not at all what you're looking for if you're trying to hit a certain number GPA-wise. If you go to UMich, do something like Communication (I was a Comm/PS double major) or try getting into the Ross B-School (they grade inflate like a MF).


Comm and B-School also open up way more doors employment-wise if you decide against Law School.


What can communication provide? other people told me that a communications major is a joke.

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cahwc12
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:38 am

First, it's great that you have the fortitude to ask these questions now. That's what this forum is for. There are a few big questions that should be answered, as well as some context needed.

Are you asking purely in terms of law school admission or law school employment prospects? These are potentially very different.

Do you shy away from math/science and/or are you weak in math/science? Do you think you could handle a rigorous technical major?

You sound like a bright guy, and I'd hate for you to make the same mistake I did, which is graduate with a political science degree. Everyone here telling you that political science is a good major are currently in undergrad or just graduated and haven't faced the real world yet. Every single one of you should change majors if you have the ability, because if/when you decide to either delay law school or forego it completely (or end up unemployed like half of your peers), there is nothing you can do with that degree that you couldn't do with any other degree. Purely in terms of admissions, you should major in whatever you can maintain a 4.0 in. However, in terms of employment prospects, any patent-bar-eligible degree will stand head and shoulders above the rest, because IP is booming. Now, within IP, Electrical Engineering is by far the most in-demand degree.

I abandoned Poli Sci for Physics/Math until my last semester when I decided to graduate and go to grad school for Math (instead of law school). When that didn't work out (I withdrew), I was left with most of physics and math degrees, a political science degree, and dismal job prospects. I've wanted to go to law school since I can remember but especially these days it's tough to reconcile cost with risk without a viable fallback option--and so at 26 I find myself returning to undergrad to pursue an EE degree (it will only take a year for me because of all the physics/math I had before).

If you have the aptitude for something very challenging and know that your work ethic and genuine interest is such that you can complete the program relatively unscathed, I recommend going for EE or something similarly technical. EE, Physics, CE, ME, CS (those are in relative order of appeal I think, based purely on personal research). I graduated with a 3.4, but every non-A I made I can trace to specific instances of decision-making that resulted in those grades. The classes were much more difficult and challenging compared to political science, but just like almost anything else (law school grades notwithstanding), if you put the effort in you will excel.

With a substantive technical degree, you will not only have good job prospects from that degree alone (unlike criminal justice, communications, poli sci, etc) but you will have much better job prospects in law school. The opportunity cost is that you're transferring risk of unemployment to risk of merit aid. You're much more likely to get a (good) job out of law school, but less likely to maintain a GPA requisite for high merit aid. To me, this seems like a great risk shift.

I think one of the issues on TLS is that so many people, myself included, have been around this forum for a while and have fallen victim to TLS groupthink. We tend to look at gaining admission to law school as the end-all, instead of employment outcomes. I've been on this forum seven years now and it still happens to me.

At many of the T14, if you finish in the bottom third or half of the class, you'll either get a bad job or no job at all; and it's exponentially worse the lower you go. IP, and specifically EE appear to be insulated from this. Further, law school is on the precipice of what is likely to be a massive overhaul. About the worst thing you can do is put all your eggs in one basket by taking a fluff major to maximize your GPA. Taking the easy road has seldom if ever resulted in winning anything. If you challenge yourself now, persevere and excel in those conditions, it bodes much better for your future.

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby CanIGetAnAmen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:28 pm

cahwc12 wrote:First, it's great that you have the fortitude to ask these questions now. That's what this forum is for. There are a few big questions that should be answered, as well as some context needed.

Are you asking purely in terms of law school admission or law school employment prospects? These are potentially very different.

Do you shy away from math/science and/or are you weak in math/science? Do you think you could handle a rigorous technical major?

You sound like a bright guy, and I'd hate for you to make the same mistake I did, which is graduate with a political science degree. Everyone here telling you that political science is a good major are currently in undergrad or just graduated and haven't faced the real world yet. Every single one of you should change majors if you have the ability, because if/when you decide to either delay law school or forego it completely (or end up unemployed like half of your peers), there is nothing you can do with that degree that you couldn't do with any other degree. Purely in terms of admissions, you should major in whatever you can maintain a 4.0 in. However, in terms of employment prospects, any patent-bar-eligible degree will stand head and shoulders above the rest, because IP is booming. Now, within IP, Electrical Engineering is by far the most in-demand degree.

I abandoned Poli Sci for Physics/Math until my last semester when I decided to graduate and go to grad school for Math (instead of law school). When that didn't work out (I withdrew), I was left with most of physics and math degrees, a political science degree, and dismal job prospects. I've wanted to go to law school since I can remember but especially these days it's tough to reconcile cost with risk without a viable fallback option--and so at 26 I find myself returning to undergrad to pursue an EE degree (it will only take a year for me because of all the physics/math I had before).

If you have the aptitude for something very challenging and know that your work ethic and genuine interest is such that you can complete the program relatively unscathed, I recommend going for EE or something similarly technical. EE, Physics, CE, ME, CS (those are in relative order of appeal I think, based purely on personal research). I graduated with a 3.4, but every non-A I made I can trace to specific instances of decision-making that resulted in those grades. The classes were much more difficult and challenging compared to political science, but just like almost anything else (law school grades notwithstanding), if you put the effort in you will excel.

With a substantive technical degree, you will not only have good job prospects from that degree alone (unlike criminal justice, communications, poli sci, etc) but you will have much better job prospects in law school. The opportunity cost is that you're transferring risk of unemployment to risk of merit aid. You're much more likely to get a (good) job out of law school, but less likely to maintain a GPA requisite for high merit aid. To me, this seems like a great risk shift.

I think one of the issues on TLS is that so many people, myself included, have been around this forum for a while and have fallen victim to TLS groupthink. We tend to look at gaining admission to law school as the end-all, instead of employment outcomes. I've been on this forum seven years now and it still happens to me.

At many of the T14, if you finish in the bottom third or half of the class, you'll either get a bad job or no job at all; and it's exponentially worse the lower you go. IP, and specifically EE appear to be insulated from this. Further, law school is on the precipice of what is likely to be a massive overhaul. About the worst thing you can do is put all your eggs in one basket by taking a fluff major to maximize your GPA. Taking the easy road has seldom if ever resulted in winning anything. If you challenge yourself now, persevere and excel in those conditions, it bodes much better for your future.


Thank you for such a great response. Will psychology or history for undergrad give me a backup plan in case I don't go to law school?

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dingbat
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby dingbat » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:30 pm

CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Thank you for such a great response. Will psychology or history for undergrad give me a backup plan in case I don't go to law school?

History: none whatsoever
Psychology: yes

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laxbrah420
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:37 pm

dingbat wrote:
CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Thank you for such a great response. Will psychology or history for undergrad give me a backup plan in case I don't go to law school?

History: none whatsoever
Psychology: yes

No, psychology and history will both require you to convince businesses you're bright enough to handle the work, despite your major. Psychology is one of the most underemployed majors, perhaps only better than architecture. Dingbat is a very old poster and things may have been different back in his day. It's not impossible to get a job with those majors coming from top schools, but I'd advise against that risk. I'd highly recommend economics due to it being incredibly useful for law school and also offering good job prospects should you pursue another route. Other than Econ stat/econometrics it's not too hard either, and one or 2 hard courses per major is pretty reasonable

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby hume85 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:43 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Thank you for such a great response. Will psychology or history for undergrad give me a backup plan in case I don't go to law school?

History: none whatsoever
Psychology: yes

No, psychology and history will both require you to convince businesses you're bright enough to handle the work, despite your major. Psychology is one of the most underemployed majors, perhaps only better than architecture. Dingbat is a very old poster and things may have been different back in his day. It's not impossible to get a job with those majors coming from top schools, but I'd advise against that risk. I'd highly recommend economics due to it being incredibly useful for law school and also offering good job prospects should you pursue another route. Other than Econ stat/econometrics it's not too hard either, and one or 2 hard courses per major is pretty reasonable


+1, but Michigan also offers a very good UG business degree (Ross), which provides even better employment prospects than econ. A double major in econ and business at Michigan would be solid IMO, if you can get into Ross Business School.

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tedalbany
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby tedalbany » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:53 pm

U Mich. Won't really help with LS admissions, but employers care about UG prestige, and Mich carries more.

CanIGetAnAmen
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby CanIGetAnAmen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:12 pm

tedalbany wrote:U Mich. Won't really help with LS admissions, but employers care about UG prestige, and Mich carries more.


I think I might go to Emory though.

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ilovesf
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby ilovesf » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:14 pm

tedalbany wrote:U Mich. Won't really help with LS admissions, but employers care about UG prestige, and Mich carries more.

You are so helpful!

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby BigZuck » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:32 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Thank you for such a great response. Will psychology or history for undergrad give me a backup plan in case I don't go to law school?

History: none whatsoever
Psychology: yes

No, psychology and history will both require you to convince businesses you're bright enough to handle the work, despite your major. Psychology is one of the most underemployed majors, perhaps only better than architecture. Dingbat is a very old poster and things may have been different back in his day. It's not impossible to get a job with those majors coming from top schools, but I'd advise against that risk. I'd highly recommend economics due to it being incredibly useful for law school and also offering good job prospects should you pursue another route. Other than Econ stat/econometrics it's not too hard either, and one or 2 hard courses per major is pretty reasonable


Just popping in to tell laxbrah that he is easily one of my top three favorite trolls on this site. And he's been doing it for 5000 posts. Chickensoup ain't got nothing on that!

OP, why do you think liberal arts degrees get you jobs? And why are you asking about Emory and Michigan but when people repeatedly say Michigan you say "Oh yeah, I'm thinking Emory." You trollin' brobro?

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laxbrah420
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:36 pm

Thanks, I guess?

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laxbrah420
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:39 pm

hume85 wrote:
laxbrah420 wrote:
dingbat wrote:
CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Thank you for such a great response. Will psychology or history for undergrad give me a backup plan in case I don't go to law school?

History: none whatsoever
Psychology: yes

No, psychology and history will both require you to convince businesses you're bright enough to handle the work, despite your major. Psychology is one of the most underemployed majors, perhaps only better than architecture. Dingbat is a very old poster and things may have been different back in his day. It's not impossible to get a job with those majors coming from top schools, but I'd advise against that risk. I'd highly recommend economics due to it being incredibly useful for law school and also offering good job prospects should you pursue another route. Other than Econ stat/econometrics it's not too hard either, and one or 2 hard courses per major is pretty reasonable


+1, but Michigan also offers a very good UG business degree (Ross), which provides even better employment prospects than econ. A double major in econ and business at Michigan would be solid IMO, if you can get into Ross Business School.

Yea to be clear I was just suggesting econ within liberal arts

ETA: emory undergrad business school is money too and I'm not sure you have to apply separately like you do at Mich

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby CanIGetAnAmen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:50 pm

Do employers care about undergrads even if the person went to a t14?

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby dsn32 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:58 pm

CanIGetAnAmen wrote:
dsn32 wrote:
dsn32 wrote:As for UMich's Poli Sci program, I think you've got so many big-shot professors teaching upper level courses that the subject matter becomes very upper level and the stakes are raised. Also, being that everyone in Poli Sci is gunning for Law School, the environment is very gunner-ish, which is not at all what you're looking for if you're trying to hit a certain number GPA-wise. If you go to UMich, do something like Communication (I was a Comm/PS double major) or try getting into the Ross B-School (they grade inflate like a MF).


Comm and B-School also open up way more doors employment-wise if you decide against Law School.


What can communication provide? other people told me that a communications major is a joke.


Media Buying/Selling, journalism-type jobs (if you have the extracurricular credentials), PR, etc. Places a ton of kids locally in Detroit and in Chicago.

The Comm. Department also does a much better job of finding job leads than PoliSci does. PoliSci doesn't do anything to help their students IMO.

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dingbat
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby dingbat » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:02 pm

CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Do employers care about undergrads even if the person went to a t14?

The most important questions are what law school and what class rank. But that's not the whole picture. You still need to be sociable/compatible. If you're borderline, then anything that can distinguish you from the competition is fair game.
Look at it this way. If there's only 2 spots left and you're competing with someone who goes to the same school and has the exact same grades and similar resume, they're gonna pick the one with the more impressive UG track record, which includes name recognition of the school, major, extracurricular activities and grades.

It'll never be 2 identical candidates vying for 1 spot, but there will be a number of candidates close to the border for several spots and you can find someone with slightly lower grades getting the nod over you if that person has a more useful UG major.

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ilovesf
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby ilovesf » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:05 pm

CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Do employers care about undergrads even if the person went to a t14?

I don't go to a good LS, but I think going to a good UG helped me a bit getting a 1L judicial externship. People ask me about it a lot in interviews as small talk.

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby clone22 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:32 pm

My 2 cents regarding UG major: Economics. Almost any time there's policy considerations for a certain law it boils down to economic incentives and reasoning. Even non-monetary laws, such as criminal laws, often coach their rationale in economic terms: giving incentives and disincentives to promote and discourage certain behaviors. If you have a moderate understanding of mathematics, and can slug your way through Calc 2, Econ can also be one of the easiest majors out there. Also use ratemyprofessor.com, and don't take hard professors.

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dood
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby dood » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:56 pm

a bunch of poor life decisions in this thread lol

this is the cortect answer:
BigZuck wrote:1. Whichever school gives you the highest gpa.
2. Whichever major gives you the highest gpa.
3. No. You probably will not make a whole lot of money with just a liberal arts BA from either school.

CanIGetAnAmen
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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby CanIGetAnAmen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:17 pm

dood wrote:a bunch of poor life decisions in this thread lol

this is the cortect answer:
BigZuck wrote:1. Whichever school gives you the highest gpa.
2. Whichever major gives you the highest gpa.
3. No. You probably will not make a whole lot of money with just a liberal arts BA from either school.


Econ is hard?

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:46 am

If you go to a good law school, the hiring difference is negligible from a purely resume standpoint. Most people at T14 schools will be from Ivies + other elite unis and LACs, but if you don't have the grades, you aren't getting hired.

Students from top universities will have a much easier time breaking into jobs after UG that will lead to an employment boost down the line (finance/consulting/BIGTHINKTANK etc etc). When one of the few paying employers at your school's career fair is the local public utilities department (true story), that's not a school that will lead to may opportunities to work for jobs that high-status legal employers will respect.

Of course hiring isn't all about ink on paper. More interviewers will be graduates of top universities, and as a result it'll be easier to establish a rapport with people who you have something in common with. But it's such a small edge that it's not worth leaving a school where you can get a high 3.X since that boost will really only help you if you get a ton of interviews during law school. Getting a 3.3 and winding up at a T50 is probably not worth it on the off chance your interviewer lived in your junior year dorm. Much better to get a 3.8, go to a good law school and pwn.

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Re: I'm sorry if this topic has been beaten to death but

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:58 pm

ilovesf wrote:
CanIGetAnAmen wrote:Do employers care about undergrads even if the person went to a t14?

I don't go to a good LS, but I think going to a good UG helped me a bit getting a 1L judicial externship. People ask me about it a lot in interviews as small talk.



No offense, but come back when you're trying to get a real job; 1L judicial externships aren't worth the 5-7 lines you're going to embelish on your resume about them.

As for OP, I don't understand why it has taken two pages to explain to you that poli scy or history or whatever other bs liberal arts major there is out there won't improve your law school hopes (unless you get a good gpa) and won't significantly change the fact that you don't know how to do anything and will be paid accordingly.




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