Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

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Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:00 pm

Yes, I'm serious; hear me out.

About to graduate from a T14 and begin studying for the Bar before starting at my Biglaw firm in the fall. I'm going to stick it out a few years, pay off debt, build a nest egg, etc. But I cannot stand the idea of being a lawyer. I despise law school, I can't stand the idea of spending thousands of hours each year researching tedious questions of law, writing obscure, meaningless memos and motions and whatever else. My first love was medicine and the hard sciences, but my early-college work ethic just wasn't there. I'm crazy passionate about it though (especially now, after seeing what the alternative was like), and I figure after a few years at the firm, I'll certainly have cemented my work ethic necessary to grind and hang in the tough pre med curriculum. My path would be to apply to a post-bacc program that allows me to complete the prerequisites. I would attend the program in the evenings while keeping my job at the firm. I would only quit if I actually got accepted into medical school at the end of it. Is this doable? I know people do crazy shit on the side like get a Tax LLM or bill enough hours to get an absurd bonus.

TLDR; Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Itiswritten » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes, I'm serious; hear me out.

About to graduate from a T14 and begin studying for the Bar before starting at my Biglaw firm in the fall. I'm going to stick it out a few years, pay off debt, build a nest egg, etc. But I cannot stand the idea of being a lawyer. I despise law school, I can't stand the idea of spending thousands of hours each year researching tedious questions of law, writing obscure, meaningless memos and motions and whatever else. My first love was medicine and the hard sciences, but my early-college work ethic just wasn't there. I'm crazy passionate about it though (especially now, after seeing what the alternative was like), and I figure after a few years at the firm, I'll certainly have cemented my work ethic necessary to grind and hang in the tough pre med curriculum. My path would be to apply to a post-bacc program that allows me to complete the prerequisites. I would attend the program in the evenings while keeping my job at the firm. I would only quit if I actually got accepted into medical school at the end of it. Is this doable? I know people do crazy shit on the side like get a Tax LLM or bill enough hours to get an absurd bonus.

TLDR; Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?


Anything is possible, however, is it logistically feasible? Biglaw may require you to be working evenings at times, which could conflict with your class schedule. If a partner asks for an assignment, it may be difficult to decline.

Perhaps you'd be more interested in transactional work, representing medical technologies or emerging companies in the life sciences? I know this is not the answer you'd like, but maybe it would make things more bearable in the interim.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby JackofLit » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:14 pm

Can't you take the courses one at a time through a local college/university, rather than through a formal post-bac program? One course per semester, maybe two if you're slow, is a lot more manageable. In three years you'll have knocked out at least 9-10 courses. It sounds like you're in your mid-20's. If you started that now you'd be ok on timing.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:15 pm

You're better off asking med school forums as I doubt any of us know for sure.

My gut tells me no, I've had friends go through post-back programs, they seem like full time commitments for 1 or 2 years (depending on how many courses you require).

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Civilservant » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:31 pm

I don't see how grinding it out in big law gives you the ability to get on a path to med school, it is a completely different skill set. You are going to need the free time to do it. Depending on the state, some state government agencies cover tuition. Lateral to an agency that will give you more free time, and perhaps cash in on free tuition. That's how I would try to transition.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:49 pm

You could just be a shit associate. You'll probably last at least a year and a half billing 30 hours a week.

But you are too old for this shit. You don't have to be a lawyer but medicine. Lol man come on. This is just a green grass scenario. You are jus trying to delay adulthood.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:15 pm

I had a similar background in not being ready for pre-med at the traditional age. I'd suggest trying to volunteer or shadow before making any big moves to ensure it's what you want. But if it is, go for it. Law doesn't get better, especially corporate law.

Also consider PA. Much shorter track to being back in the workforce. Some might not find it appealing because you're subordinate to a doctor, but the pay is good and if you went to law school presumably you have no problem being a subordinate employee.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Roy McAvoy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:59 pm

Dude, no. You haven't even completed the prereqs yet - there's no way you'll be able to take something like organic chemistry and the lab that goes with it while working big law hours. You can still be around medicine with a JD and not have to go through premed prereqs (2 years), MCAT prep( 6 months-a year), med school (4), residency (4), and fellowship (1-2). If you're planning on being in big law a few years, you're at least 12 years from being a doctor. Get into administrative or healthcare law and then transition that into a legal role at a hospital system. Or if you're dead set on getting out of law, get an MBA or something and get into management at a hospital. DF is absolutely right, this is a "grass is greener" situation. Law may not be the greenest grass for you, but med school would be fucking concrete.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:37 pm

Desert Fox wrote:You could just be a shit associate. You'll probably last at least a year and a half billing 30 hours a week.

But you are too old for this shit. You don't have to be a lawyer but medicine. Lol man come on. This is just a green grass scenario. You are jus trying to delay adulthood.


I know of at least one person who has done the reverse. MD -> attorney. Idk why you would, but there it is.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby sdancer89 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:44 pm

I did a post-bacc for 2 few semesters pre-law school and hated it so switched to law. How much time it took varied amongst my friends depending on how easily it came to people. I didn't spend much time studying and did well, but I know people who stayed up all night learning OChem too. But honestly, it was a lot of classes and took about 2 years doing it full-time through the program to finish it all. Part of it was the studying, but a lot of it is the fact that you have to be in labs for a bunch of hours at a time in addition to lectures. Seeing friends go through the MCAT and medical school application process also seemed like a full-time job. How much time it takes really depends on how easy science/math stuff come to you, but I would think doing it at night on top of a FT biglaw job would be absolutely crazy, and I wasn't someone who really freaked out about studying all the time.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby heythatslife » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:02 am

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You could just be a shit associate. You'll probably last at least a year and a half billing 30 hours a week.

But you are too old for this shit. You don't have to be a lawyer but medicine. Lol man come on. This is just a green grass scenario. You are jus trying to delay adulthood.


I know of at least one person who has done the reverse. MD -> attorney. Idk why you would, but there it is.

I know one, too. And another who dropped out of med school to attend law school. But at least your years in med school/practicing medicine aren't totally wasted, because there are niches within law where that experience can come in handy. On the other hand, I can't imagine a scenario where having a law degree is useful to medical practice in anyway.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby malibustacy » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yes, I'm serious; hear me out.

About to graduate from a T14 and begin studying for the Bar before starting at my Biglaw firm in the fall. I'm going to stick it out a few years, pay off debt, build a nest egg, etc. But I cannot stand the idea of being a lawyer. I despise law school, I can't stand the idea of spending thousands of hours each year researching tedious questions of law, writing obscure, meaningless memos and motions and whatever else. My first love was medicine and the hard sciences, but my early-college work ethic just wasn't there. I'm crazy passionate about it though (especially now, after seeing what the alternative was like), and I figure after a few years at the firm, I'll certainly have cemented my work ethic necessary to grind and hang in the tough pre med curriculum. My path would be to apply to a post-bacc program that allows me to complete the prerequisites. I would attend the program in the evenings while keeping my job at the firm. I would only quit if I actually got accepted into medical school at the end of it. Is this doable? I know people do crazy shit on the side like get a Tax LLM or bill enough hours to get an absurd bonus.

TLDR; Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?


The grass always looks greener on the other side. Trying to become a doctor because you like science and medicine is kinda like trying to become a lawyer because you like writing and logic.

You're not thinking about what could be even longer hours than BigLaw, hundreds of thousands in additional debt, the stress of seeing blood, death, human suffering, endless hospital bureaucracy, medical malpractice, and countless other crap that go into being a physician.

I'd focus on what you have going now; read anatomy books in your spare time or work as a lawyer for a hospital.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:14 am

not op

this is the problem with people who say things like "It was either med school or law school for me!". That always struck me as super pretentious, since the two professions are so different, its like saying "I've always been set on obtaining a prestigious white collar position because I'm ambitious" without actually wanting to do it, but doing it for the social status and recognition.

Don't go into a career just because it sounds cool and comes with social recognition, or else you'll be miserable. But, hey,it's impressive to tell your friends and family!

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:not op

this is the problem with people who say things like "It was either med school or law school for me!". That always struck me as super pretentious, since the two professions are so different, its like saying "I've always been set on obtaining a prestigious white collar position because I'm ambitious" without actually wanting to do it, but doing it for the social status and recognition.

Don't go into a career just because it sounds cool and comes with social recognition, or else you'll be miserable. But, hey,it's impressive to tell your friends and family!

hit the nail on the fuckin head

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Right2BearArms » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:not op

this is the problem with people who say things like "It was either med school or law school for me!". That always struck me as super pretentious, since the two professions are so different, its like saying "I've always been set on obtaining a prestigious white collar position because I'm ambitious" without actually wanting to do it, but doing it for the social status and recognition.

Don't go into a career just because it sounds cool and comes with social recognition, or else you'll be miserable. But, hey,it's impressive to tell your friends and family!


I will second this. My wife is finishing med school and moving toward residency. Medical school is totally different than law school, and neither of us could have stood to go through what the other did for school.

Also, being "passionate" about medicine will not help you when you are over 30 taking midnight call for no pay as a 3-4 year medical student (paying for the privilege of working hard, long hours). And, forgive me, but if you were so passionate, why not apply yourself post-back without the law school interlude?

If your heart is set on it, do what you feel called to do, but please do not think that being a dr. is some magic portal into a cool or great life. Its a ton of work and a lot of the BS that makes law school suck is the same in med school, just with a different end game.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:; Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?


EVEN IF you could make your work schedule accommodate your class schedule, when do you plan on putting in the (many) hours necessary for study --- and sleep? It just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby glitched » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:49 am

How old are you and how much debt do you have? I graduated with a degree that satisfied all the med school requirements (they may have added a psychology requirement recently, not sure). I considered medical school for a long time during and after law school, but it's simply not practical. I paid about 75% of sticker, and I've made a sizable dent in my loans, but it's still fairly large. My brother just finished his residency and got a really sweet gig so I can see the other side. I lived with him during his residency and let me tell you, he literally did not have any time and did not get any sleep. It was constant. The funny thing was, I asked him what was worse school or residency, and he said school by far. Not even close. That opened my eyes and I realized just how tough it is to get to where he's at now.

As for me, law school was a blast (except 1L), and biglaw sucks generally, but it really isn't that bad, especially compared to some of my accounting and actuary friends. I'm speaking for patent lit, but the legal research isn't bad at all (it's actually one of the most interesting parts of the job), and the memos and motions for sure are not meaningless. If you get invested in the case, then the memos/motions are super interesting.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby OneShot2009 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:12 am

Have you thought about trying to see if you could do some med mal work? Not sure if thats possible where you are, but maybe it would satisfy your interest.

I'm a 2L who was genuinely torn between law school and med school. Not in the "I want a prestigious white collar job way", which I think is an entirely valid critique of how people think now, but more that both were careers I have always been really interested in (you can probably blame ER for the doctor one, honestly). I just had enough self-awareness to know I would never survive organic chemistry and would love oral advocacy.

I watched some med mal trials during a judicial internship and found it completely enthralling. Meshed an interest in medicine with the law.

Maybe someone else can speak on if this is actually realistic?

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby deepseapartners » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?

If you were serious about med school, you wouldn't do it in the evenings. You would get into a full-time postbacc, preferably with some solid linkages to med schools, and you would be committing your entire life to becoming a doctor, because that's what nearly every med student has done since they were in high school. I'm sorry that you regret your decision to go to law school, but based on your post, you're not actually committed to becoming a doctor, you are likely just exploring alternative white-collar career options that seem more appealing. I would strongly suggest you keep looking.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:18 pm

OP here.

Thanks for the responses so far. A few things that might help convey my perspective a little better:

Anonymous User wrote:not op

this is the problem with people who say things like "It was either med school or law school for me!". That always struck me as super pretentious, since the two professions are so different, its like saying "I've always been set on obtaining a prestigious white collar position because I'm ambitious" without actually wanting to do it, but doing it for the social status and recognition.

Don't go into a career just because it sounds cool and comes with social recognition, or else you'll be miserable. But, hey,it's impressive to tell your friends and family!


I get that this is probably an issue with folks who are prestige driven and into the idea of how a career sounds to those around him/her. For me though, it's always been more about the interesting/challenging/meaningful work, not the money or the prestige. I spent a few years after UG teaching high school math and sciences and that's when I started to realize how much I missed that kind of thing. I went to law school aiming at a specific BigFed career and didn't get it. Now I'm left holding the Biglaw offer that I never intended to have. Is it impossible that I get that career in subsequent tries? No, but in my pre-med scenario I will have been at the firm for years so it assumes that I'm sort of stuck in a place in the legal field that I didn't want originally. It was never "either med school or law school." I entered UG as a pre-med, fucked around, bombed some classes, and was all around undisciplined. I switched my major into the humanities because I needed a clean slate to start over. It's been in my mind ever since to someday give it another shot.

deepseapartners wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?

If you were serious about med school, you wouldn't do it in the evenings. You would get into a full-time postbacc, preferably with some solid linkages to med schools, and you would be committing your entire life to becoming a doctor, because that's what nearly every med student has done since they were in high school. I'm sorry that you regret your decision to go to law school, but based on your post, you're not actually committed to becoming a doctor, you are likely just exploring alternative white-collar career options that seem more appealing. I would strongly suggest you keep looking.


It's not that I'm not serious about it; it's that I'm too risk averse to quit my job without having a medical school acceptance in hand (or I suppose a post-bacc program that links to medical schools). There are programs in the city that are geared towards folks in one career looking to shift into another, so the classes are in late evenings and on weekends. Don't you agree that ideally, I could complete the prereqs while working so I could find out sooner rather than later if I'm not actually cut out for it?

glitched wrote:How old are you and how much debt do you have? I graduated with a degree that satisfied all the med school requirements (they may have added a psychology requirement recently, not sure). I considered medical school for a long time during and after law school, but it's simply not practical. I paid about 75% of sticker, and I've made a sizable dent in my loans, but it's still fairly large. My brother just finished his residency and got a really sweet gig so I can see the other side. I lived with him during his residency and let me tell you, he literally did not have any time and did not get any sleep. It was constant. The funny thing was, I asked him what was worse school or residency, and he said school by far. Not even close. That opened my eyes and I realized just how tough it is to get to where he's at now.

As for me, law school was a blast (except 1L), and biglaw sucks generally, but it really isn't that bad, especially compared to some of my accounting and actuary friends. I'm speaking for patent lit, but the legal research isn't bad at all (it's actually one of the most interesting parts of the job), and the memos and motions for sure are not meaningless. If you get invested in the case, then the memos/motions are super interesting.


Mid-late 20s, married, 100k. Plan to have my debts paid in 3-4 years and I certainly wouldn't make any changes without first being all paid up. I'm very aware of what kind of commitment medical schooling is but so much of it is hands on and I crave that work after years of sitting reading cases and writing memos/briefs.

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:; Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?


EVEN IF you could make your work schedule accommodate your class schedule, when do you plan on putting in the (many) hours necessary for study --- and sleep? It just sounds like a recipe for disaster.


This is sort of what I was asking. Though idk what my chances are of finding someone who actually knows. I'm willing to put in crazy amounts of work, willing to put up with the crap that comes with medicine. Just wondering how possible it is if the time comes down the road.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:23 pm

Biglaw is very unpredictable and draining ... it is not a regular day job. You wont be able to do both. Just pick one. If you have to work, then work somewhere else with more predictable hours.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby elendinel » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:not op

this is the problem with people who say things like "It was either med school or law school for me!". That always struck me as super pretentious, since the two professions are so different, its like saying "I've always been set on obtaining a prestigious white collar position because I'm ambitious" without actually wanting to do it, but doing it for the social status and recognition.

Don't go into a career just because it sounds cool and comes with social recognition, or else you'll be miserable. But, hey,it's impressive to tell your friends and family!


Pretty much.

On topic: OP imagine how you're going to do labs (which can take several hours) on top of coursework/etc. while billing 160+ hours a month, at a minimum. Also keep in mind some experiments take several days, and you won't be able to finish them/will ruin your results and have to start over in some instances if you end up having to skip a day or two because work was too much for a couple days (depending on what classes you're taking and what the lab situation is like where you end up). Not all schools will let you do labs whenever you have time to pop over (if any do); generally they have lab hour slots and generally they're pretty strict about those times (for safety reasons, among other things).

Anything is possible, but you're about to go into a career where the hours are long and unpredictable and the school work you think you want can require a much more rigid schedule. This is also assuming your firm approves this (because you're going to have to tell your supervisor's about the postbac at some point for this to work). I am also assuming you do have a biology/chemistry science background of some sort (even if you didn't do all the prereqs), because it would be a nightmare to use a postbac to test the waters of whether or not science is truly your thing.

If I had to give advice, I'd say (1) go straight into a full time postbac right now, (2) save up in biglaw to quit to do the postbac full time in a few years, or (3) drop the postbac plans for now and explore medicine-related legal fields for the next few years instead (even if outside of biglaw; there is a lot you can do as a lawyer in the sciences and with respect to medicine in general). I think you would probably benefit most from actually learning what you can do in law outside of generic biglaw, personally (sounds like you have a very myopic view of law), but if you're absolutely sure law isn't your thing you should take the time to really excel in the medical studies, which is unlikely to happen as a biglaw associate.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby deepseapartners » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.
deepseapartners wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Is a pre-med post bacc in the evenings for two years doable with biglaw if I want it bad enough?

If you were serious about med school, you wouldn't do it in the evenings. You would get into a full-time postbacc, preferably with some solid linkages to med schools, and you would be committing your entire life to becoming a doctor, because that's what nearly every med student has done since they were in high school. I'm sorry that you regret your decision to go to law school, but based on your post, you're not actually committed to becoming a doctor, you are likely just exploring alternative white-collar career options that seem more appealing. I would strongly suggest you keep looking.


It's not that I'm not serious about it; it's that I'm too risk averse to quit my job without having a medical school acceptance in hand (or I suppose a post-bacc program that links to medical schools). There are programs in the city that are geared towards folks in one career looking to shift into another, so the classes are in late evenings and on weekends. Don't you agree that ideally, I could complete the prereqs while working so I could find out sooner rather than later if I'm not actually cut out for it?

I also think you don't understand just how crazy this sounds logistically. You are about to start a job which is so time-consuming and stressful that you and at least half of your incoming first-year associate class are already looking to get the fuck out as quickly as possible. How, in that kind of environment, where depression, alcoholism, and divorce are sadly all-too common, are you going to be able to do your work well enough to coast by, while also spending your nights and weekends on an even harder academic program than anything you've done before?

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby LockBox » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:50 pm

As a former science person who is now an attorney, here is my perspective.

Yes, you can do it if you really want. I'd advise the advice of shadowing/volunteering for at least a couple of months first to see if you like it.

Second, if you start on taking classes in the evenings, start with the chem series. Organic chemistry will really be the real litmus test as to whether you can make it or not.

I agree with everyone else that this sounds like a bad idea, but if you're truly motivated it's certainly possible.

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Re: Biglaw + Pre-med Post Bacc?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:55 pm

I'm just a know-nothing first year but I have a hard enough time consistently making dinner plans. I can't imagine trying to make it to class/do homework. I think you're way, way, way underestimating the time commitment it takes to work at a firm, especially for 4 years. But maybe you can do what DF said if you're fine with getting fired sometime in year 2 or thereabouts.



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