Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

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roranoa
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Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby roranoa » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:03 am

Is there anyone here who had a MS of PhD degree before going to law school?

What made you change your mind about what you were studying?

Can you tell me some differences about the experiences you had between getting that MS / PhD degree and law school?

I'm deciding whether to go to law school or pursue a degree in my major. I don't know what would be right for me.

fumagalli
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree in sth other than law?

Postby fumagalli » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:15 am

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Last edited by fumagalli on Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dingbat
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby dingbat » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:28 am

I've got an MBA. I'm also old.
I worked for a few years before before deciding on the MBA, did it part-time, and worked for several years after before opting for a law degree, but the JD segues with what I've been doing career-wise, and will mesh with my future endeavors.

None of which have anything to do with my UG major whatsoever.

fishdude
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby fishdude » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:20 pm

I have a PhD. Why law? Find an adjunct professor. Ask about the state of the academic job market.

My choice was this:
PhD --> struggling to earn 20k/yr, no medical, contracts were semester-to-semester.
PhD + JD --> job offers thrown at me w/160k starting salary.

tough choice, that.

The PhD was fun and intellectual. Law school is, well, not. But the JD leads *somewhere* while the PhD leads *nowhere*

waitlistedddd
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby waitlistedddd » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:51 pm

Would you recommend other order like getting a phd or mba or md after a jd?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:06 pm

fishdude wrote:I have a PhD. Why law? Find an adjunct professor. Ask about the state of the academic job market.

My choice was this:
PhD --> struggling to earn 20k/yr, no medical, contracts were semester-to-semester.
PhD + JD --> job offers thrown at me w/160k starting salary.

tough choice, that.

The PhD was fun and intellectual. Law school is, well, not. But the JD leads *somewhere* while the PhD leads *nowhere*

What was your PhD in? I'm really curious to hear about your experiences on the academic job market.

Feel free to PM if you'd rather discuss it via message.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:23 pm

fishdude wrote:I have a PhD. Why law? Find an adjunct professor. Ask about the state of the academic job market.

My choice was this:
PhD --> struggling to earn 20k/yr, no medical, contracts were semester-to-semester.
PhD + JD --> job offers thrown at me w/160k starting salary.

tough choice, that.

The PhD was fun and intellectual. Law school is, well, not. But the JD leads *somewhere* while the PhD leads *nowhere*


I would generally say don't be so quick to characterize your legal job opportunities in such a glossy way, but I guess any student at H with their shit together would be in the exact position you describe.

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yuzu
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby yuzu » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:05 am

Had an MSCS. Became interested in law because I started working with patents.

For me, my MS (course-based, no thesis) was like an extension of undergrad: in fact, there was a "coterm" option at my school where undergrads would stay an extra few quarters and get an MS. The courses, while more advanced, were structured exactly like the corresponding undergraduate courses, and in fact many undergrad courses were (waivable) requirements.

Law school is totally different in structure, content, and type of students. In particular, the exams, grading, and class style are nothing like most undergraduate fields.

Nothing made me change my mind about what I was studying. The two degrees had different purposes. In my case both degrees are helpful. Most graduate degrees would not be.

It seems to me you are studying for the sake of studying. There's some merit in that, but I would suggest evaluating careers rather than degrees. What would a career be like with a graduate degree in your current field? Would you like that better or worse than a big law firm?

jennk
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby jennk » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:06 pm

I've got a couple of degrees. In arcane fields that don't have any jobs or money. Was fun though.

collegebum1989
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby collegebum1989 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:21 pm

I'm a 0L, so I can't comment on law school, but I can explain my choice to apply.

I have a masters in engineering. I also had multiple job offers at graduation, but declined all to go to law school. Why? because, what I've seen and heard from older people is that the more educated you are, the more you actually do what you learn in school in the real world.

In my case, MS degrees in engineering are stepping stone, but not really a determinant of what you will actually be doing 10-20 years into your career. Graduate degrees, in my opinion, don't have a structured career path because there is no uniform hiring model after graduation and there are so many variables involved with your W.E. and professional networks that when you do pursue one, it ends up being for a promotion to a higher pay-grade or academic credentials to go for the next step (PhD).

Professional degrees, however, are created to ensure a specific career trajectory. MD, JD, DDS, DPM, MBA are all professional degrees. With the exception of a MBA, you need to be licensed to practice in these fields (USMLE for Medicine, Bar for Law). This ensures that once you obtain the degree, there is a reliable indicator of where your career will go.

So I switched to law because I wanted to practice a profession, rather than have a job. Engineering is a profession, but with the number of jobs nowadays that tag on the term "engineering" to them, you really don't need particular credentials to be an engineer anymore. I also would never go to medical school because I hate doctors (3 MD's in my family lol).

Good luck with your choice, I definitely think an MS before law school is a great idea (depending on your financial situation). Grad school exposes you to the real-world in a way undegrad doesn't.

tomwatts
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby tomwatts » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:27 pm

waitlistedddd wrote:Would you recommend other order like getting a phd or mba or md after a jd?

Depends. Many of these are better as joint/concurrent degrees rather than consecutive degrees if you want to do something that combines both of them (e.g. joint JD-Ph. D. if you want to be a law prof). If you want to change from one to the other (i.e. you don't want to be a lawyer anymore after doing it for a few years), then consecutive makes more sense.

I'm pausing over a consecutive JD-then-MBA. You might be able to go back to corporate law after a two-year MBA hiatus. But a lot of JD/MBAs end up doing more the MBA-business stuff than the JD-law stuff (e.g. Mitt Romney).

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dingbat
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby dingbat » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:38 pm

tomwatts wrote:I'm pausing over a consecutive JD-then-MBA. You might be able to go back to corporate law after a two-year MBA hiatus. But a lot of JD/MBAs end up doing more the MBA-business stuff than the JD-law stuff (e.g. Mitt Romney).

For a JD to then get an MBA degree, it typically means they're leaving biglaw, at least for a few years (it's entirely possible to come back later and switch back, although the only people I know to have done so did it at the partner level)

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Lisi
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby Lisi » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:03 pm

I have a Ph.D.
I decided to go to law school because I didn't want to spend my life doing academic research and teaching (particularly since it's more or less the same classes year after year). Grad school was great - I learned a lot, traveled, worked with interesting people, etc. But a career as an academic is quite different. Also, academics don't have very much control over where they live - especially given the current job market. I would only consider doing a PhD if you're fully funded, interested in being an academic, or willing to spend a good period of time of your young life doing something that won't move you directly forward in your career. The above is relevant to a PhD in the Humanities -- I can't speak to the job prospects of PhDs in science or economics, which are probably exceptions to the situation I've described.

collegebum1989
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby collegebum1989 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:18 pm

Lisi wrote:I have a Ph.D.
I decided to go to law school because I didn't want to spend my life doing academic research and teaching (particularly since it's more or less the same classes year after year). Grad school was great - I learned a lot, traveled, worked with interesting people, etc. But a career as an academic is quite different. Also, academics don't have very much control over where they live - especially given the current job market. I would only consider doing a PhD if you're fully funded, interested in being an academic, or willing to spend a good period of time of your young life doing something that won't move you directly forward in your career. The above is relevant to a PhD in the Humanities -- I can't speak to the job prospects of PhDs in science or economics, which are probably exceptions to the situation I've described.


Nope, same for PhD scientists/engineers. A PhD is not a degree, its more like academic training. Most people pursue degrees for a return on their investment either by obtaining a license to practice a field or a higher salary. With a PhD you don't gain either since you don't incur debt to pursue it (at least in science), and academic research is displaced from industry due to different focuses. While some do get lucrative industry options with a PhD, salaries are marginally higher than someone starting with a masters degree and substantially lower than someone with comparable industry experience.

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darkarmour
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby darkarmour » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:56 pm

I came into school with a master's in a liberal arts subject. I never thought I would end up in the field, partly it's just not a terminal degree. I learned this was probably the best decision I made, because law school has definitely opened up new possibilities for me.

foolishgirl33
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby foolishgirl33 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:15 am

My impression is that for URM's who are possible-admits the files actually get read and the adcomm wants to make sure you possess the requisite work ethic. Hence the PhD comes in handy to convince them of your ability to survive JD.

Would you agree with that?

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lisavj
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Re: Anyone here have a graduate degree other than law?

Postby lisavj » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:22 am

M.Div.


Yeah. Weird. ;)




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