Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

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LegalBiology

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Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby LegalBiology » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:50 pm

any advice on how I should go about this consideration?

Should I contact some of the schools I"m applying to inquire how to do this? Would I need the GRE?

If I was admitted to the law school, would I need to apply to the masters program for the next year or would I be allowed to just take the classes I needed?

has anyone done this or something similar? I know Stanford has a specific JD/MS Computer Science Program, but I'm thinking Northwestern is my ideal school right now

QContinuum

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:51 pm

In general, you'd probably need to apply separately to the M.S. program (and if so, you'd need the GRE). You should definitely inquire with the law schools you're considering to see how flexible/accommodating they would be. Ideally, you'd want to be able to do the M.S. without extending your overall residency at the school beyond 3 years.

Why do you want the CS M.S.? Are you planning on going into patent law?

LegalBiology

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby LegalBiology » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:04 pm

QContinuum wrote:In general, you'd probably need to apply separately to the M.S. program (and if so, you'd need the GRE). You should definitely inquire with the law schools you're considering to see how flexible/accommodating they would be. Ideally, you'd want to be able to do the M.S. without extending your overall residency at the school beyond 3 years.

Why do you want the CS M.S.? Are you planning on going into patent law?


This is part of the reason; I currently have a degree in biochemistry. But I also want the education in computer science 1 simply for the knowledge of computer science and the ability to design my own programs and 2 as a fall back career in case the legal market doesn't work out. Computer science is obviously a high demand field, and with a masters from Northwestern I could easily find a 6 figure salary job, even if it's in banking/finance

QContinuum

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:27 pm

LegalBiology wrote:as a fall back career in case the legal market doesn't work out. Computer science is obviously a high demand field, and with a masters from Northwestern I could easily find a 6 figure salary job, even if it's in banking/finance


You mention Stanford and Northwestern Law - you'll be able to land BigLaw.

Overall, I'd say if you can do the CS M.S. without going beyond 3 years*, then go for it if you want to. But if you'd have to pay another year's tuition to do the M.S., I don't think it'd be worth it (might even hurt your BigLaw chances due to the idiosyncratic BigLaw hiring process).

*Important: By "3 years" I really mean "3 academic years, excluding summers." To get BigLaw after graduating, you'll need to spend your 1L summer doing some kind of legal work and your 2L summer doing a summer associateship at a BigLaw firm.

beautyistruth

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby beautyistruth » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:42 pm

I would do it and future-proof yourself in case you ever want to leave the practice of law.

QContinuum

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:05 pm

beautyistruth wrote:I would do it and future-proof yourself in case you ever want to leave the practice of law.


Not sure how much "future-proofing" the M.S. would really confer. BigTech isn't gonna wanna hire someone who has zero tech experience and has spent the past four years practicing law.

LegalBiology

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby LegalBiology » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:22 pm

QContinuum wrote:
beautyistruth wrote:I would do it and future-proof yourself in case you ever want to leave the practice of law.


Not sure how much "future-proofing" the M.S. would really confer. BigTech isn't gonna wanna hire someone who has zero tech experience and has spent the past four years practicing law.


I disagree - from what I've researched and from people I know (I went to a top 20 ugrad and had a lot of CS friends) even a bachelor's in CS can land you a pretty decent job - again even if it's in finance or banking. A masters in CS from a top school would get you a good job, easily 6 figures

anonymous2898

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby anonymous2898 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:29 pm

I have nothing to add other than that it's dual degree, not duel degree. (Although the concept of a duel JD sounds rather adventurous.)

QContinuum

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby QContinuum » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:57 pm

LegalBiology wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
beautyistruth wrote:I would do it and future-proof yourself in case you ever want to leave the practice of law.


Not sure how much "future-proofing" the M.S. would really confer. BigTech isn't gonna wanna hire someone who has zero tech experience and has spent the past four years practicing law.


I disagree - from what I've researched and from people I know (I went to a top 20 ugrad and had a lot of CS friends) even a bachelor's in CS can land you a pretty decent job - again even if it's in finance or banking. A masters in CS from a top school would get you a good job, easily 6 figures


I think you're misreading my post. Of course someone with a CS Master's from Stanford, by way of example, will have bright job prospects in the tech industry. But things will be different if that person joins a law firm straight out of Stanford, spends four years practicing law, then applies to the tech industry. Hiring managers will question the candidate's passion and dedication to tech - they will assume, rightly or wrongly, that the person is only applying to tech positions because s/he "burned out" of law. That's the kind of "future proofing" beautyistruth was referring to - and I was pointing out that, IMO, it won't work.

Also, from your posts it sounds like you really want to go into tech. In that case, you should just get the CS Master's and not incur the time and expense of pursuing a J.D. As you point out, with a CS Master's from a top school, you'll be able to get a good job, easily in the 6 figures.

goingnutslawschool

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby goingnutslawschool » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:24 am

Ok, sorry but I can’t help myself- it’s dual not duel. See this a lot and while I think it’s something that you most likely know, it’s a big red flag when you confuse the spellings.

beautyistruth

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Re: Considering doing duel J.D. & M.S. in Computer Science

Postby beautyistruth » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:10 pm

QContinuum wrote:
LegalBiology wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
beautyistruth wrote:I would do it and future-proof yourself in case you ever want to leave the practice of law.


Not sure how much "future-proofing" the M.S. would really confer. BigTech isn't gonna wanna hire someone who has zero tech experience and has spent the past four years practicing law.


I disagree - from what I've researched and from people I know (I went to a top 20 ugrad and had a lot of CS friends) even a bachelor's in CS can land you a pretty decent job - again even if it's in finance or banking. A masters in CS from a top school would get you a good job, easily 6 figures


But things will be different if that person joins a law firm straight out of Stanford, spends four years practicing law, then applies to the tech industry. Hiring managers will question the candidate's passion and dedication to tech - they will assume, rightly or wrongly, that the person is only applying to tech positions because s/he "burned out" of law. That's the kind of "future proofing" beautyistruth was referring to - and I was pointing out that, IMO, it won't work.


I'm not so sure. If you brush up on your coding interview skills and build a portfolio on your own, your M.S. degree will help you get interviews. As long as the tech market stays hot, I don't think the field as a whole is nearly as obsessed over career purity and dedication as legal employers are. It's not hard to get at least a phone screen with many tech companies, especially if you maintain personal contacts in the field, and an MS will give you the basics such that if you self-studied algorithm interviews, you'd be in a nice position to get through hoops. Maybe you can't get Big Four right away, but you could go to a smaller company to reestablish yourself, and grind LeetCode problems in the meantime.



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