JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

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scifiguy
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JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:36 am

I was reading another TLS thread where someone argued that the rigor involved in obtaining a JD is relatively low compared to other graduate fields and is essentially the same as getting a second bachelor's degree.

Someone else responded by saying that a JD is most comparable in rigor to a BS in Chemistry.

And the conversation took off from there with a lot of back and forth argument, but kind of soon degenerated into invective and chaos. That thread's original topic wasn't really on the subject matter either. So I wanted to ask here for a fresh perspective what people think?

Do you find the work in law school <, >, or = to your undergraduate degree work? And, more specifically, do you agree with the argument that a JD is most comparable to a BS in the natural sciences (bio, chem, physics, geology, etc.)? [I guess I'm just replacing BS in chem from that other thread with BS in natural sciences...Seems maybe more flexible than just chem. Although, if you guys think chem is the perfect comparison, then by all means use that as well.]

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scifiguy
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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:43 am

I was also curious how much intricate detail and memorization is involved in law school work?

I remember chemistry from hs was pretty detailed (figuring out the various electron shell rules and ways that elements combine, etc., etc....) and required a good deal of memory. I never took chem in college though.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:05 am

scifiguy wrote:I was reading another TLS thread where someone argued that the rigor involved in obtaining a JD is relatively low compared to other graduate fields and is essentially the same as getting a second bachelor's degree.

Someone else responded by saying that a JD is most comparable in rigor to a BS in Chemistry.

And the conversation took off from there with a lot of back and forth argument, but kind of soon degenerated into invective and chaos. That thread's original topic wasn't really on the subject matter either. So I wanted to ask here for a fresh perspective what people think?

Do you find the work in law school <, >, or = to your undergraduate degree work? And, more specifically, do you agree with the argument that a JD is most comparable to a BS in the natural sciences (bio, chem, physics, geology, etc.)? [I guess I'm just replacing BS in chem from that other thread with BS in natural sciences...Seems maybe more flexible than just chem. Although, if you guys think chem is the perfect comparison, then by all means use that as well.]


Whoever said that: an emphatic NO! What makes law school hard is not the material, it is the curve. The material, imo is relatively easy to master. I was a bio major and took a lot of upper level chemistry along with it. I also did 2 years worth of graduate level science work. The material, imo, compared to law, is 100x harder to comprehend and grasp. The curve in science helps you. The curve in law school usually just screws you. In law school, you have a bunch of people in a classroom who usually understand most everything about the subject. Most everyone "gets it". The problem is that regardless, only a few can still be at the top of the class.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby lcstudent » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:35 am

I wanted to echo the last poster's comments (because they're right), but looking back as a 3L and as a chemist, I wanted to add that the type of hard that law school is has more to do with your writing ability and ability to cut through lots of irrelevant, wrong and useless information. Chemistry was focused, concise, precise, efficient--those things that science embraces. Modern law aspires to such in a way that historically it did not, but ne'er the two shall meet.

Whereas I recall reading in chemistry that concepts were explained in ways that I could memorize and practice, law is so much less exact. You have to let go of most of the words in the readings (most are fluff, but skim them anyway to get yourself thinking about different angles) and find the ones that mean something (rules and key explanatory phrases), and use them when appropriate. You won't be tested on everything, or even most things. Regurgitation is not the predominant game, it's analysis.

The one exam you get at the end usually won't challenge your knowledge per se, but rather your ability to perform an appropriate application of rules to given facts quickly, precisely, thoroughly and authoritatively within the span of the time you're given (never enough time to be comprehensive, but always enough time to do a good job if you really do understand the material and can play with it, and even be creative).

Read "Getting to Maybe" as a first step, but in hindsight that's just an introduction. But it's a good introduction. Anyhow, I hope that's helpful in some way, and best of luck to you.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby tedalbany » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:35 am

Natural Sciences is way harder. As long as you aren't a brain dead ape you can probably do at least above median in law school.

09042014
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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:52 am

Natural Sciences are for scientists who can't do real math.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby MarcusAurelius » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:46 am

Desert Fox wrote:Natural Sciences are for scientists who can't do real math.


:lol:

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby KingsCup » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:12 pm

As a major in Mechanical Engineering, I was wondering the same thing. My UG wasn't easy, but I heard that law school requires more time, but is easier

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby klaymoreklay » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:57 pm

I was a chemistry major in undergrad, and I think law and chemistry are difficult in different ways. Chemistry was much harder to understand conceptually, but it was also fairly easy to get good grades once you understood the material. The exam questions were black-and-white and straightforward, the curve usually helped you, and everything made logical sense. Law is not really conceptually difficult, but law school is 10x more stressful in my opinion. Instead of black-and-white questions, you're dealing with lots of ambiguity and nebulous concepts with significant room for interpretation. The curve is not always your friend, and you're actively competing against your classmates for a handful of As and a small pool of good jobs. Plus your entire grade comes down to one exam, which still strikes me as ridiculous.

If you do well in your science program, you're intellectually capable of handling law school. But prepare for stress!

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby sinfiery » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 pm

As a 0L, this thread is depressing.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby PickMe! » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:18 pm

sinfiery wrote:As a 0L, this thread is depressing.


+1

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:31 pm

sinfiery wrote:As a 0L, this thread is depressing.



Why?

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby sinfiery » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:49 pm

scifiguy wrote:
sinfiery wrote:As a 0L, this thread is depressing.



Why?

Probably masochism.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:41 am

What about nomenclature in law? Is it as prevalent as in bio and chem where you have so many weird words/names for things? I heard in hs that law uses a lot of Latin phrases (which is one of the reasons I took it in hs).

Or are there like more colloquial and non-formal ways and names for saying things in law that is the convention?

I remember thinking a while ago I'd probably have a very hard time in med school due to all the weird words they have to memorize.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby dingbat » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:59 am

This thread is the biggest load of cowdung I've seen in a while.
Some people are naturally geared toward science, others to language, some to music/arts and some to logic. Which one's harder depends on what you're geared toward and how smart/talented you are in that area.

While, admittedly, any idiot can probably graduate law school (if they get in), that doesn't mean they're good at it. In hard science, if you don't get it, you fail. In law school, if you don't get it, you get a C. In both cases, you have a bright future in funemployment

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:20 am

dingbat wrote:This thread is the biggest load of cowdung I've seen in a while.
Some people are naturally geared toward science, others to language, some to music/arts and some to logic. Which one's harder depends on what you're geared toward and how smart/talented you are in that area.

While, admittedly, any idiot can probably graduate law school (if they get in), that doesn't mean they're good at it. In hard science, if you don't get it, you fail. In law school, if you don't get it, you get a C. In both cases, you have a bright future in funemployment


You might be right.

We're each naturally inclined and gifted towards some things versus other things (e.g. I am terrible at singing and dancing). It's possible to have a chemistry major find literary analysis difficult and vice versa. So my OP question may be kind of meaningless.

Although for the sake of argument, I've heard one professor say before to science students that you can always move from math to the other natural sciences, but not always the other way around. I think he was essentially saying that math is harder to do than the other natural sciences.

In the humanities and social sciences, I've heard some argue before that philosophy is the hardest of that bunch.

In general, I do seem to hear people say that STEM is harder for many students than the social sciences and humanities. I think teh dropout rate in STEM is quite high in universities. They move from STEM into the humaniities and social sicences. I'm sort of guessing there's not as much mopvement the other way around (e.g. history major becoming an engineering major).

That's not to say, as you said above, the science person may be a good humanities major, but maybe just that they could do it (whereas it might not be possible the other way around)?

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby buddingjd » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:19 am

SuperCerealBrah wrote:
scifiguy wrote:I was reading another TLS thread where someone argued that the rigor involved in obtaining a JD is relatively low compared to other graduate fields and is essentially the same as getting a second bachelor's degree.

Someone else responded by saying that a JD is most comparable in rigor to a BS in Chemistry.

And the conversation took off from there with a lot of back and forth argument, but kind of soon degenerated into invective and chaos. That thread's original topic wasn't really on the subject matter either. So I wanted to ask here for a fresh perspective what people think?

Do you find the work in law school <, >, or = to your undergraduate degree work? And, more specifically, do you agree with the argument that a JD is most comparable to a BS in the natural sciences (bio, chem, physics, geology, etc.)? [I guess I'm just replacing BS in chem from that other thread with BS in natural sciences...Seems maybe more flexible than just chem. Although, if you guys think chem is the perfect comparison, then by all means use that as well.]


Whoever said that: an emphatic NO! What makes law school hard is not the material, it is the curve. The material, imo is relatively easy to master. I was a bio major and took a lot of upper level chemistry along with it. I also did 2 years worth of graduate level science work. The material, imo, compared to law, is 100x harder to comprehend and grasp. The curve in science helps you. The curve in law school usually just screws you. In law school, you have a bunch of people in a classroom who usually understand most everything about the subject. Most everyone "gets it". The problem is that regardless, only a few can still be at the top of the class.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby cinephile » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:37 am

lcstudent wrote:the type of hard that law school is has more to do with your writing ability and ability to cut through lots of irrelevant, wrong and useless information.


I would agree with this, it is incredibly tedious. It's also why I hate law school.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby tedalbany » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:19 am

dingbat wrote:This thread is the biggest load of cowdung I've seen in a while.
Some people are naturally geared toward science, others to language, some to music/arts and some to logic. Which one's harder depends on what you're geared toward and how smart/talented you are in that area.

While, admittedly, any idiot can probably graduate law school (if they get in), that doesn't mean they're good at it. In hard science, if you don't get it, you fail. In law school, if you don't get it, you get a C. In both cases, you have a bright future in funemployment


The fact that you can do shitty in both doesn't mean they're equal. A lot of the people in law are just strivers who couldn't cut it in pre-med. I probably fall into that category. Having done some science and some law school, I can tell you law is much easier and the people in law school are generally dumber than people in hard sciences (so even with the curve, it's easier than science).

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:30 am

I agree that different people have different strengths and weaknesses, but objectively, how often do you hear of someone doing miserably in law school and having to "fall back" to engineering/physics/mathematics instead?

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby dingbat » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:36 am

tedalbany wrote:
dingbat wrote:This thread is the biggest load of cowdung I've seen in a while.
Some people are naturally geared toward science, others to language, some to music/arts and some to logic. Which one's harder depends on what you're geared toward and how smart/talented you are in that area.

While, admittedly, any idiot can probably graduate law school (if they get in), that doesn't mean they're good at it. In hard science, if you don't get it, you fail. In law school, if you don't get it, you get a C. In both cases, you have a bright future in funemployment


The fact that you can do shitty in both doesn't mean they're equal. A lot of the people in law are just strivers who couldn't cut it in pre-med. I probably fall into that category. Having done some science and some law school, I can tell you law is much easier and the people in law school are generally dumber than people in hard sciences (so even with the curve, it's easier than science).
I found organic chemistry (and other hard sciences) easy and struggled with humanities.

I think part of the reason more people leave hard science for social science or humanities is that hard science is more objective, so if someone is really bad, they will not get enough right answers to pass, whereas social science/humanities are more subjective, so even if someone doesn't understand the material, they'll still pass (albeit with a bad grade).
Even early on, STEM is much harsher, there's no blunting based on how everyone else performs and there's a lot less room for a teacher to encourage students they like by improving their grade. There are no points for making a good argument (even if it doesn't address the question) in STEM - either you know the right answer or you don't. (yes, I'm oversimplifying). Therefore, going for humanities or natural science is a much easier path.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby cinephile » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:09 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:I agree that different people have different strengths and weaknesses, but objectively, how often do you hear of someone doing miserably in law school and having to "fall back" to engineering/physics/mathematics instead?


Actually, it seems to happen a lot. Many of my classmates who were former engineers or financial analysts dropped out after 1L and went back to their old jobs. I don't know that these people did miserably in law school, but they certainly realized that law wasn't right for them and quit.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby scifiguy » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:19 pm

dingbat wrote:
tedalbany wrote:
dingbat wrote:This thread is the biggest load of cowdung I've seen in a while.
Some people are naturally geared toward science, others to language, some to music/arts and some to logic. Which one's harder depends on what you're geared toward and how smart/talented you are in that area.

While, admittedly, any idiot can probably graduate law school (if they get in), that doesn't mean they're good at it. In hard science, if you don't get it, you fail. In law school, if you don't get it, you get a C. In both cases, you have a bright future in funemployment


The fact that you can do shitty in both doesn't mean they're equal. A lot of the people in law are just strivers who couldn't cut it in pre-med. I probably fall into that category. Having done some science and some law school, I can tell you law is much easier and the people in law school are generally dumber than people in hard sciences (so even with the curve, it's easier than science).
I found organic chemistry (and other hard sciences) easy and struggled with humanities.

I think part of the reason more people leave hard science for social science or humanities is that hard science is more objective, so if someone is really bad, they will not get enough right answers to pass, whereas social science/humanities are more subjective, so even if someone doesn't understand the material, they'll still pass (albeit with a bad grade).
Even early on, STEM is much harsher, there's no blunting based on how everyone else performs and there's a lot less room for a teacher to encourage students they like by improving their grade. There are no points for making a good argument (even if it doesn't address the question) in STEM - either you know the right answer or you don't. (yes, I'm oversimplifying). Therefore, going for humanities or natural science is a much easier path.


You mean social science in that last sentence right? Natural sciences are a part of STEM fields.

cinephile wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:I agree that different people have different strengths and weaknesses, but objectively, how often do you hear of someone doing miserably in law school and having to "fall back" to engineering/physics/mathematics instead?


Actually, it seems to happen a lot. Many of my classmates who were former engineers or financial analysts dropped out after 1L and went back to their old jobs. I don't know that these people did miserably in law school, but they certainly realized that law wasn't right for them and quit.


But in these cases the people already had a background in a STEM field. So, they weren't completely changing over to it. Just "falling back" on what they already had studied to begin with. So, it's a bit like asking can an engineer become and enginner?

I'm not sure if on average a person who is a humanities or soc. sci. major can move into engineering or other STEM fields. Much of the movement we do see statistically is people moving from STEM into hum. and ss.

http://www.educationnews.org/higher-edu ... -too-hard/

From this article:

There are encouraging signs, with surveys showing the number of college freshmen interested in majoring in a STEM field is on the rise. However, after middle and high school the excitement quickly fades as students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg, an emeritus engineering professor, calls “the math-science death march.”

Studies have found that roughly 40 percent of students planning engineering and science majors end up switching to other subjects or dropping out completely. This number shoots up to 60 percent with pre-medical students. This is twice the combined attrition rate of all other majors...

Ben Ost, a doctoral student at Cornell, found in a study that STEM students are both “pulled away” by high grades in their courses in other fields and “pushed out” by lower grades in their majors.


That's not to say there aren't reasonable explanations (other than the presumed higher difficulty of STEM) for the dropout rates, but just trying to throw out some numbers for reference. I've heard that STEM often teaches in a sink or swim way (even purposely trying to weed people out early on), whereas humanities and ss profs may be more nurturing and help build a foundation for you to learn from.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:29 pm

The whole "we need more STEM MAJORS!" trolling people do is insane. There is a reason I'll make twice as much as a lawyer than I would has an engineer. There really isn't a lack of engineers.

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Re: JD Difficulty/Rigor = BS in the Natural Sciences?

Postby dingbat » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:30 pm

Desert Fox wrote:The whole "we need more STEM MAJORS!" trolling people do is insane. There is a reason I'll make twice as much as a lawyer than I would has an engineer. There really isn't a lack of engineers.

there isn't a lack of lawyers either




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