At crossroads- what should I do?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Apply now or for 2020?

Poll ended at Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:48 pm

Apply now with November score of around 160.
2
25%
Take a year, get 170, apply for 2020.
6
75%
 
Total votes: 8

JoblessAndHopeless

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At crossroads- what should I do?

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:48 pm

Hey guys, so I'm a soon to be 31 yo guy, made the late decision to go to law school a few months back, and started studying for the LSAT about 3 months ago. Been studying full-time for these last few months, and I am hitting anywhere from high 150's to 160,161,162.

My uGPA is around 3.45 from a Top 25 undergrad, majored in hard science, have unusual life/work experience (went to medical school, and practiced medicine for a few years as a resident). I plan on taking this November LSAT and applying with whatever score I get in December.

With these stats (if my real LSAT reflects my practices scores), I feel like I have a good shot at some mid Tier-1 schools, hopefully with scholarship money as well.

However, I feel like if I took a good year to study for the LSAT, then I feel I can at least hit 170, maybe even higher. I could apply with this for Fall 2020 admissions, and hopefully have a much, much better shot at Top 14 schools.

I just don't know which road to take. On one hand, I can't fathom living at home with my parents for the next 1.5 years, studying for the LSAT, working part-time jobs. But this means I will give myself the best chance at getting into a T-14 school.

On the other hand, if I apply this cycle, I can start school this coming fall (hopefully a solid Tier 1 school), and get ahead in life (I feel old already at 31 yo). But I feel like I would have a left something on the table, in terms of LSAT, and where I could have gone to law school, and law career afterwards.

QContinuum

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Re: At crossroads- what should I do?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:58 pm

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:Hey guys, so I'm a soon to be 31 yo guy, made the late decision to go to law school a few months back, and started studying for the LSAT about 3 months ago. Been studying full-time for these last few months, and I am hitting anywhere from high 150's to 160,161,162.

My uGPA is around 3.45 from a Top 25 undergrad, majored in hard science, have unusual life/work experience (went to medical school, and practiced medicine for a few years as a resident). I plan on taking this November LSAT and applying with whatever score I get in December.

Your username is "JoblessAndHopeless," yet you're an M.D. who completed residency (or at least completed part of residency). Why did you decide to leave medicine? In general, job prospects for M.D.s are far better than job prospects for J.D.s, irrespective of med school ranking/prestige. I don't know whether you got a prestigious residency or not, but you don't need a plum residency to do very well financially as a doctor.

Make no mistake: I'm not saying that every undergrad should choose med school over law school. But you've already graduated from med school. I encourage you to think very hard about whether you really want to start all over from ground zero in a completely unrelated field.

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:With these stats (if my real LSAT reflects my practices scores), I feel like I have a good shot at some mid Tier-1 schools, hopefully with scholarship money as well.

What do you want to achieve out of law school? Mid-T1 schools will fit some goals, but not others.

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:However, I feel like if I took a good year to study for the LSAT, then I feel I can at least hit 170, maybe even higher. I could apply with this for Fall 2020 admissions, and hopefully have a much, much better shot at Top 14 schools.

You were smart enough to get into med school (no small feat) and make it through residency (presumably passing at least some USMLE Steps). You shouldn't need to spend a full year prepping for the LSAT. (And if you do, that might indicate that law isn't a good fit for your talents.)

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: At crossroads- what should I do?

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:09 pm

QContinuum wrote:
JoblessAndHopeless wrote:Hey guys, so I'm a soon to be 31 yo guy, made the late decision to go to law school a few months back, and started studying for the LSAT about 3 months ago. Been studying full-time for these last few months, and I am hitting anywhere from high 150's to 160,161,162.

My uGPA is around 3.45 from a Top 25 undergrad, majored in hard science, have unusual life/work experience (went to medical school, and practiced medicine for a few years as a resident). I plan on taking this November LSAT and applying with whatever score I get in December.

Your username is "JoblessAndHopeless," yet you're an M.D. who completed residency (or at least completed part of residency). Why did you decide to leave medicine? In general, job prospects for M.D.s are far better than job prospects for J.D.s, irrespective of med school ranking/prestige. I don't know whether you got a prestigious residency or not, but you don't need a plum residency to do very well financially as a doctor.

Make no mistake: I'm not saying that every undergrad should choose med school over law school. But you've already graduated from med school. I encourage you to think very hard about whether you really want to start all over from ground zero in a completely unrelated field.

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:With these stats (if my real LSAT reflects my practices scores), I feel like I have a good shot at some mid Tier-1 schools, hopefully with scholarship money as well.

What do you want to achieve out of law school? Mid-T1 schools will fit some goals, but not others.

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:However, I feel like if I took a good year to study for the LSAT, then I feel I can at least hit 170, maybe even higher. I could apply with this for Fall 2020 admissions, and hopefully have a much, much better shot at Top 14 schools.

You were smart enough to get into med school (no small feat) and make it through residency (presumably passing at least some USMLE Steps). You shouldn't need to spend a full year prepping for the LSAT. (And if you do, that might indicate that law isn't a good fit for your talents.)


Hey QContinuum, thanks for your reply.
It's a pretty long story, but a multitude of reasons resulted in me leaving medicine. I did not do well in medical school at all, and as a result, I ended up in a field of residency that I had no interest in at all. I took it because there was no other option. I did not finish the said residency, as I just could not do it anymore. I felt zero passion, zero enthusiasm, and doing it day after day, I just couldn't envision doing it for the rest of my career. For what it's worth, it was primary care, and trust me, primary care is going to absolute s*** in this country.

Also, I just wasn't "good" at medicine. I slogged through medical school because I thought residency would be better, there was the money involved, and I was afraid of dropping out. Despite my trying, my skills and knowledge just weren't there, this was probably due to my absolute lack of interest in the field. I did pass all 3 steps of USMLE, but only through great effort and dedication.

I've always been interested in law and going to law school, but decided to go medicine in undergrad because of pressures from my parents, and I was naive and ignorant of my feelings and where my interests were.

I know another 3 years of law school will be grueling and difficult, but I really do want to choose this route.
My ultimate goal is to practice IP and patent law at a preferably biglaw setting, utilizing my scientific and medical knowledge to this effect. I want to go the law school that gives me the best chance at doing this.

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239840

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Re: At crossroads- what should I do?

Postby 239840 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:57 pm

Are you at -0 or -1 in LG yet? If not, if you foolproof games hard for the next few weeks, that could improve your score range quite a bit. Perhaps take the November LSAT either way and then spend some time seriously considering what you want to do (retake or not, etc.) this winter and next spring before committing to anything. Also, some people have seen success studying while working full-time, though you may be handicapped quite a bit by debt and unable to move out until your loans go back into forbearance.

QContinuum

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Re: At crossroads- what should I do?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:12 am

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:Hey QContinuum, thanks for your reply.
It's a pretty long story, but a multitude of reasons resulted in me leaving medicine. I did not do well in medical school at all, and as a result, I ended up in a field of residency that I had no interest in at all. I took it because there was no other option. I did not finish the said residency, as I just could not do it anymore. I felt zero passion, zero enthusiasm, and doing it day after day, I just couldn't envision doing it for the rest of my career. For what it's worth, it was primary care, and trust me, primary care is going to absolute s*** in this country.

Also, I just wasn't "good" at medicine. I slogged through medical school because I thought residency would be better, there was the money involved, and I was afraid of dropping out. Despite my trying, my skills and knowledge just weren't there, this was probably due to my absolute lack of interest in the field. I did pass all 3 steps of USMLE, but only through great effort and dedication.

I've always been interested in law and going to law school, but decided to go medicine in undergrad because of pressures from my parents, and I was naive and ignorant of my feelings and where my interests were.

I know another 3 years of law school will be grueling and difficult, but I really do want to choose this route.
My ultimate goal is to practice IP and patent law at a preferably biglaw setting, utilizing my scientific and medical knowledge to this effect. I want to go the law school that gives me the best chance at doing this.


Okay, it does sound like you have a good reason for leaving medicine and going into law.

Before you commit yourself whole hog to law school, have you considered working as a technology specialist or patent agent at a large law firm that does patent prosecution work, like Fish or Finnegan? I assume you're patent bar eligible, given your hard science major. My sense is that you would be extremely marketable to clients as a patent prosecutor, given your M.D. (Clients are much more used to seeing life science Ph.D.s as patent prosecutors - your M.D. would set you apart in a very good way.)

If you join one of these firms, you can actually practice patent law and see how you like legal work. You'll make a salary comfortably >$100k, and you'll have minimal risk: If you don't like it, you can simply quit and go pursue something else, without having spent any $ on tuition and without dropping out of law school. Better yet, if you do like it and decide to commit to law school, you'll likely be able to get the firm to pay for your tuition, either in whole or in part. (And even if you decide you don't want to deal with the burden of working while in law school, then having actual legal experience on your resume will make you a stronger law school applicant.)

I think this is particularly good advice for you given your 3.45 uGPA and current PT scores in the low 160s. Fairly or not, law school admissions are very strongly driven by uGPA and LSAT score. Your M.D. will likely be a very strong "soft," but even still, a 3.45/sub-165 LSAT probably isn't going to get you into a T13 or even a T20. (Vandy, to take a random T20, has a median uGPA of 3.75 and a median LSAT of 166.) Of course, you could do much better with a 170+, which I agree you should be able to hit given enough practice... but instead of taking some time off to prep for the LSAT, why not fill the gap with actual legal work?



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