Law or Med School

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Yagza
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:40 pm

Law or Med School

Postby Yagza » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:06 am

Ok, let me set up a few things to get them out of the way.

I'm 26 year old and have a Masters of Computer Science from a top 50 university. One of the niche fields in this industry is unattainable for me and I am leaving programming completely as I'm having issues finding employment and cannot get into my niche industry.

Many of the complaints here are funny enough as they mimic the IT industry and other message boards. For those who don't know, many developers when they are 40 hit a point where they will have issues finding work due to their age. Unless they work for a top 20 tech company for a while, they will continue job hopping and be living off of contracts. Essentially, it's not a real career (to me at least) unless you did things right from the beginning and got into a top 20 tech company. I have no desire to do that nor the crunch time involved.

In any case, I got a 3.75 gpa for my MSCS (top 50) and a 3.89 gpa for a BSIT (not top 50). CS courses were easy to me as well as a couple stats courses. I did take BIO I/Chem I. Easy classes to me but studied slightly more than average for them.

I have the decision now to make whether to go to the med route (probably dental school) or go through law school in hopes of getting patent law. However, I have no desire whatsoever to live in a big city. I actually would prefer to live in more rural area/suburb and am completely fine with making 70k as long as I had stability and work life balance. In other words, after 10 years of experience, I want people to treat me like I've had 10 years of experience in something and for future positions to reflect that.

Now, the big thing is here is that both will be free rides. I know that this board will immediately jump to "LuLZ teh meds!!" but hear me out.

Dental School: For this, I would have to spend 1 year doing a post-bacc pre-med course. I have never taken more rigorous science courses so I have no idea how I would do. Essentially, 10k and some time might go down the drain if I feel like I do poorly. Humans are like computers to me. I actually wanted to become a funeral director/mortician since I was 14 years old and STILL do. A moritican's pay is awful though and the industry is tightly closed. In other words, med/dental would be interesting to me but might be slightly boring. So in other words, 4-6 years of schooling with chance of failure in pre-med.

Law School: I have a MSCS degree and I've heard that patent law is relatively safer than other niche professions. People are mentioning on here to not bother unless you go to T1L which I can understand but keep in mind that I do not wish to live in a city unless I had the prospect of dealing with the top tech companies. I generally find it of the same or slightly more interest than the med route but only because it's slightly closer to my profession. Also, maybe it would help me get non-programming roles at bigger tech companies if I'm not digging patent law? So it would pretty much be the same time to do with the added bonus of a MSCS degree.

In any case, both are without debt so do not factor money into the choice.

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bluepenguin
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby bluepenguin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 am

Why is it debt-free? There's a difference between having savings, having relatives pay, having GIB, etc.

Yagza
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Law or Med School

Postby Yagza » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:37 am

bluepenguin wrote:Why is it debt-free? There's a difference between having savings, having relatives pay, having GIB, etc.


Let's say "relatives pay".

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Typhoon24
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby Typhoon24 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:44 am

I get the feeling you want to go to law school more than dental school.

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dnptan
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby dnptan » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:59 am

Typhoon24 wrote:I get the feeling you want to go to law school more than dental school.


Agreed. I feel your hesitation with law stems from your disdain for large cities. To be completely honest, I think you should go to law any way, because 70k/yr is definitely doable in towns/sub-urbs for a private law practice. Whether it's IP or not, I can't tell (probably not though). But seeing as you don't really have IP experience and just gravitate toward it due to your tech experience, I say give other types of law a shot. Research.

Speaking of research, another major reason I think law would be better is the requirements of medicine. To be more specific, the requirements of dentistry. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but pre-med is not pre-dent. Although some courses overlap, and the skills definitely do. Bio requires a lot of memorization and although logic is useful, it's not enough on its own. People who can memorize > people who are wicked logical (at least in college courses).

Definitely do some research: talk to lawyers and talk to dentists. There's more to those professions than salary. As part of the service industry, one of the major factors (benefit or not) is dealing with people. Both fields require it - and both fields have different types you have to deal with.

Good Luck!

Yagza
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Law or Med School

Postby Yagza » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:10 am

dnptan wrote:
Typhoon24 wrote:I get the feeling you want to go to law school more than dental school.


Agreed. I feel your hesitation with law stems from your disdain for large cities. To be completely honest, I think you should go to law any way, because 70k/yr is definitely doable in towns/sub-urbs for a private law practice. Whether it's IP or not, I can't tell (probably not though). But seeing as you don't really have IP experience and just gravitate toward it due to your tech experience, I say give other types of law a shot. Research.

Speaking of research, another major reason I think law would be better is the requirements of medicine. To be more specific, the requirements of dentistry. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but pre-med is not pre-dent. Although some courses overlap, and the skills definitely do. Bio requires a lot of memorization and although logic is useful, it's not enough on its own. People who can memorize > people who are wicked logical (at least in college courses).

Definitely do some research: talk to lawyers and talk to dentists. There's more to those professions than salary. As part of the service industry, one of the major factors (benefit or not) is dealing with people. Both fields require it - and both fields have different types you have to deal with.

Good Luck!


Thanks for the input. The courses all overlap for premed thus the requirements are the same. The only difference is that around 20 med schools require calculus which is why many premed programs don't include it as they don't think it's worth it I guess. However, some people DO take extra classes to get a better chance into a dental school which are specific to dental school. That's where the differences are.

Yea, I would trade in salary for quiet location and work-life balance.

When you mentioned experience with IP law, does that mean it would be difficult for me to get an entry position into IP even with the qualifications (aside from experience)?

ghostowl
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby ghostowl » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:30 am

I think you answered your own question. You said you prefer rural area to urban (law career loses) and you prefer more relaxed lifestyle over heavy hours (law career loses again)

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Shmoopy
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby Shmoopy » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:32 am

My understanding is that most good law jobs, especially in IP, will be in major urban areas.

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dnptan
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby dnptan » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:32 am

Yagza wrote:When you mentioned experience with IP law, does that mean it would be difficult for me to get an entry position into IP even with the qualifications (aside from experience)?


Not per-se. I got involved a job in IP law straight out of college (Bio/Biomedical Eng degree). I think your background would be great in it - but whether you'd enjoy it or not remains to be seen. Shouldn't be an issue. I just wanted to point out you should be open to non-IP stuff, as it'll probably be easier to find a non-city job with something like real estate/family/tax law

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TheWeeIceMon
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Re: Law or Med School

Postby TheWeeIceMon » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:42 am

Go shadow a dentist and see if you would enjoy the work. It's a pretty solid job in terms of salary and work/life balance, especially if you come out of school with no debt. However, dental school is not easy to get into by any means and you'll likely have to do quite a bit of prep in addition to classes before you can even apply. With that said, I woudn't go that route if you seriously think the work may be boring.

Also, dental school is not med school.




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