College Course Selection

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:08 pm

Hi guys and girls,

I'm starting college this fall and I plan on going to law school. I know that down the line, I may change my mind which is why I will not select my major specifically for law school. I just want to know what sort of electives/minors I should take to improve my law school performance.

Note that I am not asking which courses will help me gain admission.

I am aware that classes with intense reading and writing would be helpful but are there any particular courses that helped you?

Username123
Posts: 742
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 2:26 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Username123 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:17 pm

Go have fun.

But to answer your question -- the classes that you will get As in.

People do well in law school with a multitude of educational background - engineering, sociology, math, art, music, etc. Just focus on getting good grades, having fun and not screwing up your life.

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:20 pm

Uschoolqb10 wrote:Go have fun.

But to answer your question -- the classes that you will get As in.

People do well in law school with a multitude of educational background - engineering, sociology, math, art, music, etc. Just focus on getting good grades, having fun and not screwing up your life.


Got it :wink:

User avatar
KMart
Posts: 3628
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:25 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby KMart » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:57 pm

Take classes you'll do well in. If you're unsure about law pick a major you'd be happy to work within as a safe fallback.

User avatar
antiworldly
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby antiworldly » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:22 pm

My advice for every undergrad is to take a very wide range of classes so if you ever see something from that field years down the road, you'll at least have a foundational knowledge. Take Bio 101, take GenChem, take a theater course, take a foreign language or two. And of course, take a stats course. There is no discipline where a knowledge of stats won't be advantageous.

Username123
Posts: 742
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 2:26 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Username123 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:28 pm

antiworldly wrote:My advice for every undergrad is to take a very wide range of classes so if you ever see something from that field years down the road, you'll at least have a foundational knowledge. Take Bio 101, take GenChem, take a theater course, take a foreign language or two. And of course, take a stats course. There is no discipline where a knowledge of stats won't be advantageous.


I wish I could remember a single thing from my freshman year bio/chem courses.

User avatar
KMart
Posts: 3628
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:25 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby KMart » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:29 pm

Uschoolqb10 wrote:I wish I could remember a single thing from my freshman year bio/chem courses.

I think you could recognize the info if you saw it in front of you.

Or I think that's the general idea of forcing students to take those classes.

Username123
Posts: 742
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 2:26 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Username123 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:30 pm

KMart wrote:
Uschoolqb10 wrote:I wish I could remember a single thing from my freshman year bio/chem courses.

I think you could recognize the info if you saw it in front of you.

Or I think that's the general idea of forcing students to take those classes.


I can definitely remember the horrific grades I earned lol which might also explain why I can't remember a single thing from either of those classes

User avatar
KMart
Posts: 3628
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:25 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby KMart » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:31 pm

Uschoolqb10 wrote:I can definitely remember the horrific grades I earned lol which might also explain why I can't remember a single thing from either of those classes

:lol: :lol:. At least it's done with now.

OP, take note and do not take bio/chem classes and receive horrific grades. Unless you enjoy bio/chem.

User avatar
gnomgnomuch
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:34 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby gnomgnomuch » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:56 pm

Lawdood wrote:Hi guys and girls,

I'm starting college this fall and I plan on going to law school. I know that down the line, I may change my mind which is why I will not select my major specifically for law school. I just want to know what sort of electives/minors I should take to improve my law school performance.

Note that I am not asking which courses will help me gain admission.

I am aware that classes with intense reading and writing would be helpful but are there any particular courses that helped you?



I just finished my undergrad degree and I majored in Political Science. The ONE thing I would change about that is to put some emphasis on quantitative skills.

At the absolute minimum you should take the following classes:

Stats - A minimum of one class, ideally two.
Micro/Macro econ - intro and i'd even recommend intermediate classes
Quantitative Research methods - This will build on your stats knowledge.
At least one class that delves into SQL/R/SPSS/STATA - having any of those skills on your resume is great for the job hunt. I got an offer to intern at 2 think-tanks out of 3 applications - and got the interview stage on the 3rd one - after I took a class that taught SPSS. Before that I had applied to like 30 places and got 2 interviews, and didn't get any offers. One guy told me directly that he wished I had more quant skills.

With those skills you can major in whatever you want, and still have a decent skill set. Granted these classes aren't super easy - if you're anything like me and struggle with math - but they're totally worth it in the long run, especially if you end up wanting to pursue a degree in something other than law after undergrad.

On the other spectrum take a few communication classes, and some writing intensive classes - especially those that require research and analysis. Those are excellent to have under your belt.

Other than that, have fun, I spent my 4 years of undergrad working 2 jobs and was pretty involved in student life, and I regret it, because I didn't have as much fun as many of friends. When they went out to bars, I was stuck at work, or studying. Don't make that mistake.

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:10 pm

KMart wrote:
Uschoolqb10 wrote:I can definitely remember the horrific grades I earned lol which might also explain why I can't remember a single thing from either of those classes

:lol: :lol:. At least it's done with now.

OP, take note and do not take bio/chem classes and receive horrific grades. Unless you enjoy bio/chem.


I think that I am going to major in a STEM subject. I am a more quantitative person but I also enjoy reading, writing and analyzing arguments, although admittedly not my strong suit, which is why I want to improve those skills before having to take the LSAT and going to Law school.

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:18 pm

gnomgnomuch wrote:
Lawdood wrote:Hi guys and girls,

I'm starting college this fall and I plan on going to law school. I know that down the line, I may change my mind which is why I will not select my major specifically for law school. I just want to know what sort of electives/minors I should take to improve my law school performance.

Note that I am not asking which courses will help me gain admission.

I am aware that classes with intense reading and writing would be helpful but are there any particular courses that helped you?



I just finished my undergrad degree and I majored in Political Science. The ONE thing I would change about that is to put some emphasis on quantitative skills.

At the absolute minimum you should take the following classes:

Stats - A minimum of one class, ideally two.
Micro/Macro econ - intro and i'd even recommend intermediate classes
Quantitative Research methods - This will build on your stats knowledge.
At least one class that delves into SQL/R/SPSS/STATA - having any of those skills on your resume is great for the job hunt. I got an offer to intern at 2 think-tanks out of 3 applications - and got the interview stage on the 3rd one - after I took a class that taught SPSS. Before that I had applied to like 30 places and got 2 interviews, and didn't get any offers. One guy told me directly that he wished I had more quant skills.

With those skills you can major in whatever you want, and still have a decent skill set. Granted these classes aren't super easy - if you're anything like me and struggle with math - but they're totally worth it in the long run, especially if you end up wanting to pursue a degree in something other than law after undergrad.

On the other spectrum take a few communication classes, and some writing intensive classes - especially those that require research and analysis. Those are excellent to have under your belt.

Other than that, have fun, I spent my 4 years of undergrad working 2 jobs and was pretty involved in student life, and I regret it, because I didn't have as much fun as many of friends. When they went out to bars, I was stuck at work, or studying. Don't make that mistake.


Thanks for the advice!

I will most likely major in a STEM field or Economics, so I will definitely take a lot of math/stats classes.

Really helpful. Thanks :D

Username123
Posts: 742
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 2:26 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Username123 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:27 pm

KMart wrote:
Uschoolqb10 wrote:I can definitely remember the horrific grades I earned lol which might also explain why I can't remember a single thing from either of those classes

:lol: :lol:. At least it's done with now.

OP, take note and do not take bio/chem classes and receive horrific grades. Unless you enjoy bio/chem.


Yeah, don't be a dumbass like me, OP.

sandwhich
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:02 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby sandwhich » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:35 pm

Take Logic the semester or year before you take the LSAT. Please do this.

hearsay77
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby hearsay77 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:42 pm

Take the classes you're most likely to get A's in. My undergrad had a database of the percentage of students that historically got A's in classes or with certain professors - find out if your school has something similar and look up the classes with the highest A rates.

User avatar
smaug
Posts: 12668
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:31 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby smaug » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:45 pm

do premed stuff so you can be a doctor instead of a lawyer

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:46 pm

sandwhich wrote:Take Logic the semester or year before you take the LSAT. Please do this.


Does discrete mathematics and real analysis count as a logic courses or are the LSAT logic games different?

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Jason Taverner wrote:do premed stuff so you can be a doctor instead of a lawyer


Not interested in medicine whatsoever. lol

User avatar
smaug
Posts: 12668
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:31 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby smaug » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Lawdood wrote:
Jason Taverner wrote:do premed stuff so you can be a doctor instead of a lawyer


Not interested in medicine whatsoever. lol


do CS so you don't have to be a lawyer

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:49 pm

hearsay77 wrote:Take the classes you're most likely to get A's in. My undergrad had a database of the percentage of students that historically got A's in classes or with certain professors - find out if your school has something similar and look up the classes with the highest A rates.


Right now i'm doing a lot of background research on every professor that will teach the classes that i'll be taking. I also plan on taking/majoring in something that I know I can get a 3.7+ in.

User avatar
smaug
Posts: 12668
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:31 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby smaug » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:50 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image

sandwhich
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:02 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby sandwhich » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:51 pm

Lawdood wrote:
sandwhich wrote:Take Logic the semester or year before you take the LSAT. Please do this.


Does discrete mathematics and real analysis count as a logic courses or are the LSAT logic games different?


No idea what those are. But the Logic course I'm referring to is typically a Philosophy course that basically teaches you logic games. It's generally helpful for the LSAT and has served me in law school as well.

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:54 pm

sandwhich wrote:
Lawdood wrote:
sandwhich wrote:Take Logic the semester or year before you take the LSAT. Please do this.


Does discrete mathematics and real analysis count as a logic courses or are the LSAT logic games different?


No idea what those are. But the Logic course I'm referring to is typically a Philosophy course that basically teaches you logic games. It's generally helpful for the LSAT and has served me in law school as well.


It's basically mathematical proof and induction. So it is a form of logic. I will definitely take a look at the philosophy department for their logic course.

Thanks :)

Lawdood
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:54 am

Re: College Course Selection

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:57 pm

[quote="Jason Taverner"][/quote]


Yeah I've heard that the job market is pretty bad which is why i'll ONLY go to law school IF i get into the T14 with some $$$ or T6.

User avatar
smaug
Posts: 12668
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:31 pm

Re: College Course Selection

Postby smaug » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:00 pm

i should probably tone it down so i can save a soul because do normally don't get folks who are this young

OP—I'm a graduate of a top school, with good grades, and a job lined up at a well respected firm this fall. I attended with a significant grant package. I was, by most measures, pretty successful (but not amazingly so) at this whole law school thing.

Please consider getting credentials that will allow you to work in another field. Pick a job other than lawyer, talk to people in that field, and ask them what you should take.

Lawyers will not care at all what you did before law school, unless it is too public interest-y and you're trying to sell out.

You can be pre-Med, or pre-pharm, you can get a CS degree, you can get an Engineering degree, you can set yourself up to work in banking—you'll be able to go to law school with any of those.

The LSAT is painfully easy. The standards for admission to even top schools are laughably low. You will be able to go to law school no matter what you study.

But, you won't be able to go back and time and get a good shot at becoming something other than a lawyer.

So, even if you don't trust me and are convinced that you want to go to law school, take steps toward another career path. It won't shut any doors and will at least keep one more door open.

If I could go back in time and talk to 18 year old me, that's what I'd tell him. I hope he'd listen.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CHyde, jingosaur, katthegreat11, thxrho, Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests