Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

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soitgoes23
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Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby soitgoes23 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:13 pm

It's a little complicated, but I went from a law school hopeful to pre-med, then back to the former in a span of four years (i.e. college). The indecisiveness was mainly due to shifts in my personal philosophy during those years. I'm now a college graduate and am working as a research assistant, as most of my focus was on science/research, etc during my last two years or so in college. But I've now decided that I was wrong and that the burnout that I've experienced these last few years have been due to forcing my way through something that doesn't resonate with me completely.
I don't have much practical experience in the legal field - does it hurt my application if I don't have any experience related to law? Most of my work these last few years have been in science/research. And how do I start over? It's been difficult to get "legal shadowing," and my current job doesn't afford much time to pursue an internship outside of that. On top of that, I'm currently dealing with kind of a major burnout and would like a minor break, so I was hoping to teach English abroad as a way of saving up money and traveling. How do law schools view my type of "non-traditional" applicants?

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Winston1984
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:27 pm

Not having legal experience won't hurt you at all. No, you won't be seen as non traditional. Law school admissions is notoriously driven by numbers (LSAT + gpa). This is different than medical school where research, interviewing skills, and other soft factors matter much more. Not to say that no soft factors matter for law school, but nothing you described would get you accepted to a school where your numbers wouldn't. But also, you wouldn't get denied based on a lack of soft factors either. Except maybe at Stanford or Yale.

soitgoes23
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby soitgoes23 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:44 pm

Winston1984 wrote:Not having legal experience won't hurt you at all. No, you won't be seen as non traditional. Law school admissions is notoriously driven by numbers (LSAT + gpa). This is different than medical school where research, interviewing skills, and other soft factors matter much more. Not to say that no soft factors matter for law school, but nothing you described would get you accepted to a school where your numbers wouldn't. But also, you wouldn't get denied based on a lack of soft factors either. Except maybe at Stanford or Yale.


Ok, thanks, this is for the most part what I've been hearing/reading. Does GPA or LSAT score carry more weight? Or does that differ by school?

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RZ5646
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby RZ5646 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:50 pm

LSAT is slightly more important but if you wrecked your GPA with premed classes you'll need a very high LSAT to make up for it.

soitgoes23
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby soitgoes23 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:07 pm

My GPA is lower than what I would have liked - it's in the low 3.6, some of it having to do with taking a lot of pre-med/lab classes in a short time frame but also having to do with burning out/being (regrettably) irresponsible sometimes. My school is also fairly rigorous (I'm sure law schools don't really consider this though). I actually was interested in Stanford/Harvard/Yale - I'm guessing my GPA is on the low side, but are those schools out of the question for me? Like everyone else, I'm shooting for a high LSAT, but what range should I be trying to reach?

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Winston1984
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:11 pm

soitgoes23 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:Not having legal experience won't hurt you at all. No, you won't be seen as non traditional. Law school admissions is notoriously driven by numbers (LSAT + gpa). This is different than medical school where research, interviewing skills, and other soft factors matter much more. Not to say that no soft factors matter for law school, but nothing you described would get you accepted to a school where your numbers wouldn't. But also, you wouldn't get denied based on a lack of soft factors either. Except maybe at Stanford or Yale.


Ok, thanks, this is for the most part what I've been hearing/reading. Does GPA or LSAT score carry more weight? Or does that differ by school?

Agree with the poster below me that LSAT is more important. I think it's more than slightly more important. Especially top scores (170+) are down significantly. But, there are still some schools that prefer gpa over LSAT. The CA schools (Stanford, Berk, UCLA, and USC) prefer high gpas, but you still need a good LSAT. Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.

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RZ5646
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby RZ5646 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:14 pm

I'm no expert so I'm not going to try to give you much advice, but from what I've read HYS would be a longshot with a 3.6 (unless you're a minority). It's possible, but not likely. However, with a 173+ LSAT you'd still probably get big scholarships at other T14 schools, which many people here will tell you is an objectively better outcome than paying $300k for HYS.

There's a site called MyLSN that lets you plug in GPA and LSAT combinations and predict your admissions chances based on data from past years... you might want to check it out.

Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.


Do you know if these people have notable softs? My goal is a T14 full ride.

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ILoveYou
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby ILoveYou » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:17 pm

Agree that LSAT is going to be more important for you. With the 3.6x, though, you would need a 175+ LSAT to try and be competitive if you really want a shot at those top schools, and even then there's no guarantee. These links should give you more of an idea on what numbers you'll be working with:

http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/

http://yale.lawschoolnumbers.com/


Notice you're below the 25th% on both schools' GPA's, but a 175+ LSAT puts you in the 75%+ range there. If your app is good enough otherwise/there's a continued decline in 170+ scores, I think you could still have a shot. Definitely have a shot at other t14s with significant money.

Best of luck!

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Winston1984
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:26 pm

Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.

Do you know if these people have notable softs? My goal is a T14 full ride.

Doesn't seem like it. Pretty sure several are KJDs too. Again, I'm not sure if that will continue, but it's been pretty common this cycle.

mike0331
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby mike0331 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:33 pm

Does IP interest you at all? Just curious. I was pre-med bio and I'm currently studying for the patent bar.

Mike

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smile0751
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby smile0751 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:46 pm

Winston1984 wrote:
Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.

Do you know if these people have notable softs? My goal is a T14 full ride.

Doesn't seem like it. Pretty sure several are KJDs too. Again, I'm not sure if that will continue, but it's been pretty common this cycle.


Uhhhhh as one of the 168/3.9X with a UVA full scholarships, yes I think most of us... At least myself... Have very strong softs.

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Winston1984
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:58 pm

smile0751 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.

Do you know if these people have notable softs? My goal is a T14 full ride.

Doesn't seem like it. Pretty sure several are KJDs too. Again, I'm not sure if that will continue, but it's been pretty common this cycle.


Uhhhhh as one of the 168/3.9X with a UVA full scholarships, yes I think most of us... At least myself... Have very strong softs.

I don't believe UVA is awarding a full ride to folks based on soft factors. I'm sure some of the recipients do have strong softs (you included), but that's probably not why you are getting a full ride. Also, what counts as a notable soft? I assume OP meant Rhodes or PhD. Don't take it personally.

science burner
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby science burner » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:32 pm

mike0331 wrote:Does IP interest you at all? Just curious. I was pre-med bio and I'm currently studying for the patent bar.

Mike

From what I've seen here and on other forums/blogs, as well as talking to people in the IP field, for patent law in the life sciences area a PhD is almost necessary to get hired. This is in contrast to areas like engineering and physics that it seems a BS is satisfactory. I haven't looked at how the employment of patent agents is effected by having an advanced degree or not.

Here are the types of things employers are looking for- http://patentlyo.com/jobs

But for those of us that can it doesn't hurt to sit the patent bar

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RZ5646
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby RZ5646 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:15 pm

smile0751 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.

Do you know if these people have notable softs? My goal is a T14 full ride.

Doesn't seem like it. Pretty sure several are KJDs too. Again, I'm not sure if that will continue, but it's been pretty common this cycle.


Uhhhhh as one of the 168/3.9X with a UVA full scholarships, yes I think most of us... At least myself... Have very strong softs.


Also curious what you consider to be strong softs and whether you are actually know about other scholarship recipients.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Transitioning from pre-med to law school candidate

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:19 pm

smile0751 wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:
Also, this year, UVA has been giving full rides to 168s/3.9s. Idk if that will continue or not.

Do you know if these people have notable softs? My goal is a T14 full ride.

Doesn't seem like it. Pretty sure several are KJDs too. Again, I'm not sure if that will continue, but it's been pretty common this cycle.


Uhhhhh as one of the 168/3.9X with a UVA full scholarships, yes I think most of us... At least myself... Have very strong softs.

Uhhhh that's great but UVA has been giving full rides to people at or above both medians for the better part of a decade, with very little emphasis on softs. They admit splitters and reverse splitters immediately via ED if one number is at or above a median and the other isn't embarrassingly bad, and they give full rides to people like you. That's just how it works.




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