Should I go to law school?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Favoritism
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:43 pm

Should I go to law school?

Postby Favoritism » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Here's my story.

I'm not going to lie and say law has been my passion since I was 2. It hasn't. In fact, I hadn't really thought about it until last year, when I realized that graduation was coming up. I'm a chemistry major, and I knew I didn't want to do a PhD, so I started looking into other things. I took a class on the law and economics of IP, and found it really fascinating. That's why I'm looking into law school. In all likelihood, I would be doing patent-based work.

Also factoring into this decision are my LS/job prospects. I go to just about the top school I can for my major (Let's say it's one of Berkeley MIT Harvard Stanford), and my GPA suffered a bit as a result. It will be a 3.45 after graduation. My LSAT cold was 152, 168 after studying the PS bibles, and 172 after studying the same stuff again. That was a couple months ago and school took over since then, so I haven't done any prep since last November/December. After graduation, I will be studying pretty much nonstop until the June LSAT hoping to crack 175.

As far as softs go... I've done research in 3 different university-based labs over my undergraduate career, but unless I luck out soon I will not have any publications to speak of. I'll also have a year off in between, during which I would like to get a job. This job will probably be in the chem/bio industry, but I was also considering finding a law/business/service based job to prepare me a little more for that world, seeing as how I have no experience in it whatsoever.

If I can't get into a T14 but I'm certain I want to do patents, would that still be a worthwhile pursuit? Reading these forums, there is a lot of doom-and-gloom about entering law if you can't get into a T14, but I'm not sure how true that holds for IP.

What do you think? Should I pursue law, or does this seem like a bad idea?

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Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby Br3v » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:50 pm

Favoritism wrote:Here's my story.

I'm not going to lie and say law has been my passion since I was 2. It hasn't. In fact, I hadn't really thought about it until last year, when I realized that graduation was coming up. I'm a chemistry major, and I knew I didn't want to do a PhD, so I started looking into other things. I took a class on the law and economics of IP, and found it really fascinating. That's why I'm looking into law school. In all likelihood, I would be doing patent-based work.

Also factoring into this decision are my LS/job prospects. I go to just about the top school I can for my major (Let's say it's one of Berkeley MIT Harvard Stanford), and my GPA suffered a bit as a result. It will be a 3.45 after graduation. My LSAT cold was 152, 168 after studying the PS bibles, and 172 after studying the same stuff again. That was a couple months ago and school took over since then, so I haven't done any prep since last November/December. After graduation, I will be studying pretty much nonstop until the June LSAT hoping to crack 175.

As far as softs go... I've done research in 3 different university-based labs over my undergraduate career, but unless I luck out soon I will not have any publications to speak of. I'll also have a year off in between, during which I would like to get a job. This job will probably be in the chem/bio industry, but I was also considering finding a law/business/service based job to prepare me a little more for that world, seeing as how I have no experience in it whatsoever.

If I can't get into a T14 but I'm certain I want to do patents, would that still be a worthwhile pursuit? Reading these forums, there is a lot of doom-and-gloom about entering law if you can't get into a T14, but I'm not sure how true that holds for IP.

What do you think? Should I pursue law, or does this seem like a bad idea?


Important things to consider: You need to think about what your GPA will be when you apply, not when you graduate (though if you waited to the following cycle then they would of course be the same) Best shot is to aim for the 175+, blanket the t14, and I think you stand a very good chance at getting in somewhere.

I do not know anything about IP, so hopefully someone can answer that aspect for you.

Favoritism
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:43 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby Favoritism » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:56 pm

Br3v wrote:Important things to consider: You need to think about what your GPA will be when you apply, not when you graduate (though if you waited to the following cycle then they would of course be the same) Best shot is to aim for the 175+, blanket the t14, and I think you stand a very good chance at getting in somewhere.

I do not know anything about IP, so hopefully someone can answer that aspect for you.


I'm a graduating senior, so yes, they will be the same.

Favoritism
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:43 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby Favoritism » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:13 pm

bump for mid-day

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tedalbany
Posts: 1697
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby tedalbany » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:25 pm

IP does have much better prospects. As long as you can break 170 you shouldn't have any trouble getting into a T14. Even GULC + IP should suit you well.

So can you succeed if you try it? Probably. Should you still do it? Eh idk, law is a pretty TTT profession, and with a decent chem gpa coming from a top school you might want to consider better options. But either way you'll probably succeed with your background.

Heat
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby Heat » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:40 pm

You'll get into a T14 with a 175 and a 3.45. Really you'll get in with a 172 and a 3.45, especially if you ED. The question your topic actually asks though is should you go to law school. Seems to me if you don't know you want to be a lawyer you probably shouldn't go. The job market is tough, its an extremely stressful school experience, and you seem like you might have other significant job prospects. I can't imagine going through the grind of law school (much less the supposed grind afterwards) if I didn't have my heart set from the beginning on law school. So my answer to your question would be: If you feel that you really need to ask on a message board, you probably shouldn't go - at least not right now.

I don't know much about IP law but aren't there a job (patent agents maybe?) that does a lot of the same stuff as an IP lawyer? Maybe you should look into those.

Quick search: http://inventors.about.com/od/patentatt ... _agent.htm
http://www.patentbarstudy.com/career/pa ... alary.html

"At a Glance' Chart Patent Agent Salary Range

Patent agent starting salary $45-65,000
Average salary for a patent agent $70-90,000"

So a lot less than biglaw but no 200 grand in debt and I'm sure that isn't the only job available. (may not even be viable for you as I said I have no idea about this stuff)

Favoritism
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:43 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby Favoritism » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:08 am

I like the input so far, checking to see if anyone else has something to add.

Eco
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby Eco » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:13 am

You should go to law school because with that degree, you can get into Intellectual Property law, which is pretty big now. If you get into a school like GW, even if you're in the median range grades-wise you can still land big law as an IP lawyer. Good luck.

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boredatwork
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:26 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby boredatwork » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:26 am

If you are not sure I would not go. Sounds like you are good at research so if I was you I would look at it like any research assignment. Find the info relevant to your situation (I know it is out there, sadly none of us are as unique as we think we are) figure out the cost/ benefit for you (people sometimes tend to gloss over the fact that even if law school is free you are still losing 3 full years of a salary somewhere else, not to mention benefits.) Maybe audit a class, talk to a local patent/ ip attorney, then ask for fee waivers (I don't know if the T14 give those but it is worth a shot) see where you get in and attend the admitted student weekend. If after all that you still aren't sure you definitely shouldn't go, but if it sounds like a good fit, worth the sacrifice ( the attorneys in my office all tell me I will love Chicago, well my second year because I won't have time to do anything but study my first year.) and what you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life then go.

SLim1124
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:31 pm

Re: Should I go to law school?

Postby SLim1124 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:27 pm

I'm also a science major (BA in Biology, MA in Biopharmacy) but it's always been my dream to become a lawyer. I've toyed with the idea of public health advocacy, in-house council for big pharma, and, of course, IP/patent. I just got into law school (Cardozo 2015!) and will be starting this year. I won't leave law school with any debt.

I think law school would be a good choice for you if you don't want to do a PHD (pharmD's not a bad choice though) or, presumably med school (yikes!) if you're qualified. Although you say you haven't been dead set on it since the beginning of time, the fact that you're making an educated decision (through your IP intro class and are doing all the research us other law school wannabe schleps have been subjected to) is a good sign that you've got more legitimate reasons to attend law school than the 80% who are defaulting from the humanities. Plus, if you can get into a better school than I have, then I really don't see a downside to pursuing a JD.

I've got a couple links for you that I bookmarked after reading all the dismal ATL and TTT BS that doesn't hold true for those of us who are qualified to do IP and have professional backup plans.

--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--).pdf
http://www.procopio.com/news/san-diego- ... -downturn-

Sure, that last one's an oldie, and I was focussing on mostly biotech, not chemical engineering, but with a preliminary Google you'll be able to find all kinds of articles to help you see through the TTT nightmare. You're gonna wanna pay particular attention to the second link from the ICC. Realize that the market for IP lawyers is global - increasingly global. Can you speak a second language? Are you willing to take your career international 15-years down the line? It's my dream to work in London for Glaxo one day ;) It is my understanding that most areas of law are confined by jurisdiction (corporate and NGO-types might bounce around a bit) but with an IP degree from the US you could be a foreign consultant on US IP laws.

Okay now I'm rambling, so plz post back with your thoughts. I'd love to hear them as I'm going through the same thought process.




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