math background a help in law school?

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mmmadeli
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math background a help in law school?

Postby mmmadeli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:39 pm

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Last edited by mmmadeli on Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nahgems
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby nahgems » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:53 pm

I'm a statistical programmer. I find a lot of similarities between statistical analysis and law. In both cases, you are looking at large amounts of data, looking for patterns, filtering out unimportant bits and drawing conclusions with what remains (this is obviously over simplified).

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mmmadeli
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby mmmadeli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:00 pm

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Last edited by mmmadeli on Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cutiewiddlebebe
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby cutiewiddlebebe » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:02 pm

Wentworth Miller, of LEEWS fame, argues that a math background helps one parse hypotheticals more intuitively. He also asserts, however, that math folks are typically poor writers. Six of one...
Last edited by cutiewiddlebebe on Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ConMan345
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby ConMan345 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:03 pm

I think anything where you practice analyzing and making arguments is going to help.

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MrKappus
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby MrKappus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:03 pm

I doubt a background in mathematics will be helpful, whether from an Ivy undergrad or not. If anything, you might be slightly disadvantaged because your bachelors did not require you to read hundreds of pages of text per week, and law school does. Law exams are not logic games, and they certainly don't bear any resemblance to proofs. Just sayin'.

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macattaq
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby macattaq » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:18 pm

--ImageRemoved--

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thesealocust
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:51 pm

edit: n/m
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Tautology
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby Tautology » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:22 pm

I suspect most people will find their background to be of some help in law school. More impressive would be to find a background that gave someone absolutely no help.

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thesealocust
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:37 pm

edit: n/m
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MrKappus
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby MrKappus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:02 pm

betasteve wrote:
MrKappus wrote:I doubt a background in mathematics will be helpful, whether from an Ivy undergrad or not. If anything, you might be slightly disadvantaged because your bachelors did not require you to read hundreds of pages of text per week, and law school does. Law exams are not logic games, and they certainly don't bear any resemblance to proofs. Just sayin'.

I found my math background very helpful. Math, like law, is learning about methodology and argument tactics/structure, and how to apply tools learned/acquired to new situations.


I took linear algebra, logic, and topology (at an Ivy ug omg!) and I don't see any connection, but if it helped you, then cool.

skiingimpy
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby skiingimpy » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:18 pm

I don't know about math, but I've found that my civil engineering degree, during which I took a lot of math, has turned out to be extremely helpful. I absolutely feel like the law is very similar to the kinds of analysis I did in UG. BLL=equations/methods and cases=derivations/'practie problems.' Definitely helped. And the technical writing I took I've found to be more similar to legal writing than some of the garbage I had to write for my poly sci minor.

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mmmadeli
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby mmmadeli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:47 pm

I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be an asshole. I was just curious if it translated -- if I'm wrong I'm wrong, that's no big deal. You're the experts. :-)

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cutiewiddlebebe
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby cutiewiddlebebe » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:50 pm

mmmadeli wrote:I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be an asshole. I was just curious if it translated -- if I'm wrong I'm wrong, that's no big deal. You're the experts. :-)

*your

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mallard
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby mallard » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:51 pm

mmmadeli wrote:I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be an asshole. I was just curious if it translated -- if I'm wrong I'm wrong, that's no big deal. You're the experts. :-)


Math might be more useful than most. I know there were points at which I felt like I was using my programming background - to want to create flowcharts; to iterate processes across different cases; to anticipate multiple different uses; to think about end-user administrability; etc. In some classes I felt I was using a lot of stuff I had learned in philosophy classes; in others I felt I was using techniques from literary analysis. In general, though, I think your experience simply suggests that there's nothing all that mystical about Getting to Maybe or about law school generally, and that you were wrong (though by no means uniquely wrong!) to expect to be confused. It's all very intuitive.

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MrKappus
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby MrKappus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:09 pm

betasteve wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
betasteve wrote:
MrKappus wrote:I doubt a background in mathematics will be helpful, whether from an Ivy undergrad or not. If anything, you might be slightly disadvantaged because your bachelors did not require you to read hundreds of pages of text per week, and law school does. Law exams are not logic games, and they certainly don't bear any resemblance to proofs. Just sayin'.

I found my math background very helpful. Math, like law, is learning about methodology and argument tactics/structure, and how to apply tools learned/acquired to new situations.


I took linear algebra, logic, and topology (at an Ivy ug omg!) and I don't see any connection, but if it helped you, then cool.

You didn't take much abstract math then, or you didn't write many proofs. It's ok though — applied math is important too.


Logic was almost all proofs (!?). But yeah, I was a LA major (just took the math classes for funsies), so my math coursework was limited.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:12 pm

Tautology wrote:I suspect most people will find their background to be of some help in law school. More impressive would be to find a background that gave someone absolutely no help.


*raises hand*

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UnitarySpace
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby UnitarySpace » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:14 pm

Proofs in logic are super tedious and super mechanical, a bit different than other areas i think.

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PSLaplace
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby PSLaplace » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:30 pm

Maybe, but probably not in the way you're thinking. As a general rule, any 0L that thinks they understand GTM does not understand GTM.

My EE degree was basically four years of applied math (differential equations, Fourier analysis, complex analysis, linear algebra, discrete math). I can imagine that practice in systematically applying a set of rules (like math) can help in law school. I really would not expect a significant advantage, however. If there's any degree that confers an advantage in law school, it would be quantitative economics; you largely get whatever "math bonus" there might be, and you also get exposure to a lot of economic theories that tend to crop up in class discussion...and law school exams.

On a related note, Orin Kerr got a master's in engineering before law school. Here's what he thinks: http://volokh.com/posts/1170821171.shtml

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MrKappus
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby MrKappus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:34 pm

I stand corrected. Maybe classes taken in a fuller math curriculum than I had would be helpful to law school.

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mmmadeli
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby mmmadeli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:39 pm

PSLaplace wrote: I really would not expect a significant advantage, however.


Oh no, I really don't at all...I was just curious about whether something that seemed similar to me from a cursory examination was actually similar in practice.

(Also I was hoping everyone would say yes because I just really miss math class. Sigh, I'm a big dork.)

blzrchick2
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby blzrchick2 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:05 am

I was a math major in undergrad and I just graduated LS. I found it incredibly helpful to have a math degree. For one, employers love it because it gives you something to talk about at interviews, it sets you apart. Every interview I've ever gone to has asked about it...so OP make sure you have a good reason "why you decided to go to law school after being a math major."

Second, everyone is right about the logic and proofs stuff, it's a great starting point to making legal arguments. This is especially true for legal writing. Legal writing is not creative writing. I think a lot of "writers" from undergrad have to learn a new way of writing for law school which is hard for them. The logic in putting arguments together in a brief is very similar to that of a proof, just in the proof you have to make sure those arguments are mathematical principles and that its impossible to argue something different, and in a brief you get to use the facts you have to logically show under the law, you win. Legal writing was my favorite part of school, I was a LRW TA and did a lot of Moot Court writing, and I think that having the background in math helped me a lot with it. Just my two cents!

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:09 am

cutiewiddlebebe wrote:Wentworth Miller, of LEEWS fame, argues that a math background helps one parse hypotheticals more intuitively. He also asserts, however, that math folks are typically poor writers. Six of one...



I always wondered who would name their kid Wentworth when I was watching Prison Break. Now I know. A Rhodes Scholar turned attorney.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wentworth_Miller

pandacot
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby pandacot » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:08 pm

I have an undergrad in applied math, and it does relate to law. Not only does a math degree relate well with law, but many of the areas that are becoming more studied (popular) in law will relate well to a math degree. Game theory and prisoner's dilemma are surprisingly simple for a math major, but not so much for a non-math major. Additionally, IP Law interviewers will stroke your math degree like a hooker on steroids.

beer lao
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Re: math background a help in law school?

Postby beer lao » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:29 am

I have a math background, and I have to say that proof based math courses really helped me a lot during my first year of law school. The logical way you go about proving problems in math is similar to the logical reasoning required in law school. Also, I felt nothing that I encountered in my first year of law school was as technical or confusing as some of my math classes. So don't worry, the concepts you'll have to learn in Law school is not nearly as confusing as advanced calculus or partial differential equations!

If someone asked me what to major in undergrad that would prepare them for law school, I would actually suggest math and a double major/minor in english or some other reading and writing intensive subject.




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