Confused Highschool Senior

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Akguitarski
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Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Akguitarski » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:46 pm

I'm a 17-year-old high school senior and I'm very seriously considering going into law. I have no idea what degree to get before I go to law school, and I have no idea where I even want to go yet. I've scored high enough on my ACT to get me in anywhere, so that won't be an issue. So I guess what I'm asking is, what should I do before law school. And also, which field should I go into? Any advice would also be appreciated.

guinness1547
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby guinness1547 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:48 pm

Akguitarski wrote:I'm a 17-year-old high school senior and I'm very seriously considering going into law. I have no idea what degree to get before I go to law school, and I have no idea where I even want to go yet. I've scored high enough on my ACT to get me in anywhere, so that won't be an issue. So I guess what I'm asking is, what should I do before law school. And also, which field should I go into? Any advice would also be appreciated.


Major in whatever you want, get good grades in it, take on as little debt as possible, take time off between undergrad and law school, and take the LSAT seriously.

Akguitarski
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Akguitarski » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:50 pm

guinness1547 wrote:Major in whatever you want, get good grades in it, take on as little debt as possible, take time off between undergrad and law school, and take the LSAT seriously.

Thanks, so it doesn't matter what my major is?

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Typhoon24
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Typhoon24 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:55 pm

Akguitarski wrote:
guinness1547 wrote:Major in whatever you want, get good grades in it, take on as little debt as possible, take time off between undergrad and law school, and take the LSAT seriously.

Thanks, so it doesn't matter what my major is?
I

Major in something that will get you a job incase law school doesn't work out. Law schools don't care what your major is. Enjoy your years at college and don't do anything stupid Character and Fitness wise.

dissonance1848
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby dissonance1848 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:56 pm

Thanks, so it doesn't matter what my major is?


4.0 in basket weaving from community college with LSAT beats 3.9 triple CS/Math/Physics major from MIT/Cal Tech, with equal LSAT scores and other softs, for Law School.

Akguitarski
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Akguitarski » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:01 pm

Wow all this makes my life a lot easier :D so what field should I go into?

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smaug_
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby smaug_ » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:04 pm

Honestly, just go to a very very good school and don't fuck around. If you want to end up being a lawyer you can always do that. If you go to a good enough school, you might avoid the whole law thing.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:04 pm

Akguitarski wrote:Wow all this makes my life a lot easier :D so what field should I go into?


Hookers and Blow

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rinkrat19
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:04 pm

Akguitarski wrote:Wow all this makes my life a lot easier :D so what field should I go into?

What field would you like to end up in if you don't go to law school for whatever reason? Preferably something that has, you know, jobs. Engineering > English, for example.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:16 pm

My advice: Take a wide variety of courses your first year. Have an open mind. Pursue what you're interested in — with an eye toward marketability. Err on the side of sciences when in doubt. Forget about law school for now. You might come back around to it in a few years, and if you do, that's fine (lots of shit wrong with going into law, but none of us has any idea what the profession will be like in seven years so it's too early to try to talk you out of it IMO). But there's nothing you have to do in order to be a lawyer later, so put it on the back burner. (The exception is keep your GPA up, which you should just do anyway because it might not seem like it now but that shit may matter.)

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Winston1984
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:01 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:
Thanks, so it doesn't matter what my major is?


4.0 in basket weaving from community college with LSAT beats 3.9 triple CS/Math/Physics major from MIT/Cal Tech, with equal LSAT scores and other softs, for Law School.


That's a little bit of a stretch. I know law school is definitely a numbers game but I don't believe this.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:15 pm

Winston1984 wrote:
dissonance1848 wrote:
Thanks, so it doesn't matter what my major is?


4.0 in basket weaving from community college with LSAT beats 3.9 triple CS/Math/Physics major from MIT/Cal Tech, with equal LSAT scores and other softs, for Law School.


That's a little bit of a stretch. I know law school is definitely a numbers game but I don't believe this.


I agree it's a stretch, but only because a four-year degree in basket weaving from a CC isn't really a thing.

Ask yourself why a law school would value a CS/Math/Physics degree over something less demanding? They're not concerned about law school being "academically rigorous" - how often does someone actually flunk out because they can't understand the material? And while it's true that certain UG degrees might help a student be more competitive for IP or some other specialized area, thus bolstering the school's employment numbers, that's 3+ years down the road, and they have to report GPAs to USNWR *now*.

If anything, they might have a legitimate concern that the CS/Math/Physics applicant hasn't had to write anything longer than ten pages in their entire academic career, or read anything other than technical articles.

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jingosaur
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby jingosaur » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:32 am

Also, if you find a different career path/job/fellowship/etc. that you're interested in, don't let law school keep you from trying it out. Law school will always be waiting for you, but some opportunities that you'll have in college won't be.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:00 am

I can't believe no one has given you the most credited advice yet, but here it is:

Get this law school shit out of your head. Pursue a STEM degree (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and get a job in that. Once again, FORGET LAW SCHOOL. It should not even be on your radar at this point.

SEngland
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby SEngland » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:19 am

Danger Zone wrote:I can't believe no one has given you the most credited advice yet, but here it is:

Get this law school shit out of your head. Pursue a STEM degree (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and get a job in that. Once again, FORGET LAW SCHOOL. It should not even be on your radar at this point.



Never get advice like this. If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it? You want real advice, homie? Go to college, and choose a college that is a good economic choice. Are you wealthy and your parents will be covering the bill? Then go wherever. Are you poor? Will you get fin. aid? If you are middle class with no fin. aid and have to take loans for UG then go to State U or wherever you can get get some scholly money. Major in something you like but that makes sense. What I mean is, avoid degrees such as English etc. Then, after sufficient partying, making friends, trying various internships, and growing up, then decide if law is for you. If it still is, then take the LSAT extremely serious and do well on it. At that point, take a fat ass scholarship or if you get into a T10 then go.


Also - don't do what a lot of people do and dick around during your summers. Try various internships to see what you like.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:27 am

SEngland wrote:If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it?

Because that's life. You want a job? Suck it up and major in some shitty boring subject. It's extremely rare that people enjoy work anyway. You have to live for your life outside of work. Trying to find fulfillment in a job is pointless.

SEngland
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby SEngland » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:31 am

Danger Zone wrote:
SEngland wrote:If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it?

Because that's life. You want a job? Suck it up and major in some shitty boring subject. It's extremely rare that people enjoy work anyway. You have to live for your life outside of work. Trying to find fulfillment in a job is pointless.


You sound hella jaded, guy. I know plenty of people who enjoy their work. The real point is you may not be able to enjoy your work and make a ton of bank at the same time. It may be a give or take. You may have to adapt your lifestyle to compliment the cash you make etc.

But to say you "have" to do something you hate as a career because that is how life works is fucking insane.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:33 am

Danger Zone wrote:
SEngland wrote:If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it?

Because that's life. You want a job? Suck it up and major in some shitty boring subject. It's extremely rare that people enjoy work anyway. You have to live for your life outside of work. Trying to find fulfillment in a job is pointless.

I agree that lots of people expect too much fulfillment out of their work but it's still worth trying to figure out what you might be interested in or good at. And for some people that is actually being a lawyer, believe it or not, though hardly anyone could know that at 17.

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Danger Zone
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:39 am

SEngland wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
SEngland wrote:If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it?

Because that's life. You want a job? Suck it up and major in some shitty boring subject. It's extremely rare that people enjoy work anyway. You have to live for your life outside of work. Trying to find fulfillment in a job is pointless.


You sound hella jaded, guy. I know plenty of people who enjoy their work. The real point is you may not be able to enjoy your work and make a ton of bank at the same time. It may be a give or take. You may have to adapt your lifestyle to compliment the cash you make etc.

But to say you "have" to do something you hate as a career because that is how life works is fucking insane.

I didn't say OP "had" to do anything. I was just giving him the best possible advice for ending up employed post-undergrad. You want to do something you "enjoy"? Well, fine, but just realize that you are taking a higher risk that you will end up unemployed (unless you happen to enjoy a STEM major, in which case, more power to you).

Gorki
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Gorki » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:41 pm

SEngland wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
SEngland wrote:If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it?

Because that's life. You want a job? Suck it up and major in some shitty boring subject. It's extremely rare that people enjoy work anyway. You have to live for your life outside of work. Trying to find fulfillment in a job is pointless.


You sound hella jaded, guy. I know plenty of people who enjoy their work. The real point is you may not be able to enjoy your work and make a ton of bank at the same time. It may be a give or take. You may have to adapt your lifestyle to compliment the cash you make etc.

But to say you "have" to do something you hate as a career because that is how life works is fucking insane.


Adapting one's lifestyle to make 30k a year at a toilet-tier operation to service 100k in LS debt is stretching "enjoying" one's work. Or more to the point, you may never have to worry about making bank OR enjoying your "work" as a law grad because 50% of all graduates are never practicing attorneys at all. In this case, OP could get a degree in European History (a fav of mine) on the super cheap w/scholly from some LocalStateU, graduate with no debt, work at McD's or w/e and still be in the same position.

OP: Shadow an attorney for a few days or something, then shadow a diff attorney, and then another. Eventually shadow some solo if that is possible. If you can stomach all of it, then go ahead.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:53 pm

Law sucks. Get a computer science of electrical engineering degree from a good program.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:58 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
SEngland wrote:
Danger Zone wrote:
SEngland wrote:If a person doesn't want to major in that shit then why major in it?

Because that's life. You want a job? Suck it up and major in some shitty boring subject. It's extremely rare that people enjoy work anyway. You have to live for your life outside of work. Trying to find fulfillment in a job is pointless.


You sound hella jaded, guy. I know plenty of people who enjoy their work. The real point is you may not be able to enjoy your work and make a ton of bank at the same time. It may be a give or take. You may have to adapt your lifestyle to compliment the cash you make etc.

But to say you "have" to do something you hate as a career because that is how life works is fucking insane.

I didn't say OP "had" to do anything. I was just giving him the best possible advice for ending up employed post-undergrad. You want to do something you "enjoy"? Well, fine, but just realize that you are taking a higher risk that you will end up unemployed (unless you happen to enjoy a STEM major, in which case, more power to you).


I enjoyed most of my STEM major classes and non-stem minor classes. Hated others across the board. The whole "life sux anyway do accounting" shpeal is typical internet bitterfest garbage

Employability is about skill set, not so much major... Unless you go to a particular type of public school, engineering school or another trade school, your technical training will be on the job, and regardless of major you will learn critical thinking, writing, and reading skills in college but little to do with your work.

You dont need to major in accounting or even finance to take the CPA exam and be an accountant. You dont need to major in CS to be a software engineer. You dont need to major in pre-law to go to law school, or biology to go to med school (although here certain STEM and english coursework is req'd), ect. ect.

My first job out of college was in consulting. We served as financial analysts, forensic accountants, underwriters, translators, paralegals, architects, software designers.. Whatever the client needed, I was or learnt to be over the weekend. No one gave a shit what we did in class in undergrad. It was the ability to 1) write very well (read: quickly, concisely, perfect syntax and prose), 2) absorb new material, quantitative or qualitative, and be able to replicate and analyze it without too much explanation, 3) learn unfamiliar programs and software (mastery of excel all obtained on the job, cant believe there are classes on it), 4) speak articulately and present yourself professionally, 5) think on your feet and be innovative, and other "skills" learned through a variety of majors. Focus on getting good grades and honing these abilities and you will be valued in almost any profession.. Maybe medicine and certain types of engineers are an exception.

Fuck getting a technical major: I say get a flexible major from a good college and expand your horizons. For "skills," do summer internships and work FT before grad school.

I will also mention that language skills have always been an asset to me in employment and applications (and of course travel and dating). Having fluency or near-fluency in a global language other than english like Spanish, French, German, or Arabic is huge: you can take languages in college and study or work abroad to crystalize your fluency, which I highly recommend - its also so goddamn fun

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RemyMarathe
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby RemyMarathe » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:44 am

jbagelboy wrote:
I enjoyed most of my STEM major classes and non-stem minor classes. Hated others across the board. The whole "life sux anyway do accounting" shpeal is typical internet bitterfest garbage

Employability is about skill set, not so much major... Unless you go to a particular type of public school, engineering school or another trade school, your technical training will be on the job, and regardless of major you will learn critical thinking, writing, and reading skills in college but little to do with your work.

You dont need to major in accounting or even finance to take the CPA exam and be an accountant. You dont need to major in CS to be a software engineer. You dont need to major in pre-law to go to law school, or biology to go to med school (although here certain STEM and english coursework is req'd), ect. ect.

My first job out of college was in consulting. We served as financial analysts, forensic accountants, underwriters, translators, paralegals, architects, software designers.. Whatever the client needed, I was or learnt to be over the weekend. No one gave a shit what we did in class in undergrad. It was the ability to 1) write very well (read: quickly, concisely, perfect syntax and prose), 2) absorb new material, quantitative or qualitative, and be able to replicate and analyze it without too much explanation, 3) learn unfamiliar programs and software (mastery of excel all obtained on the job, cant believe there are classes on it), 4) speak articulately and present yourself professionally, 5) think on your feet and be innovative, and other "skills" learned through a variety of majors. Focus on getting good grades and honing these abilities and you will be valued in almost any profession.. Maybe medicine and certain types of engineers are an exception.

Fuck getting a technical major: I say get a flexible major from a good college and expand your horizons. For "skills," do summer internships and work FT before grad school.

I will also mention that language skills have always been an asset to me in employment and applications (and of course travel and dating). Having fluency or near-fluency in a global language other than english like Spanish, French, German, or Arabic is huge: you can take languages in college and study or work abroad to crystalize your fluency, which I highly recommend - its also so goddamn fun


Another solid post. Listen up high schoolers.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:44 am

I hate how consultants think they do something of value.

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Leaborb192
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Re: Confused Highschool Senior

Postby Leaborb192 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:55 am

Akguitarski wrote:I'm a 17-year-old high school senior and I'm very seriously considering going into law. I have no idea what degree to get before I go to law school, and I have no idea where I even want to go yet. I've scored high enough on my ACT to get me in anywhere, so that won't be an issue. So I guess what I'm asking is, what should I do before law school. And also, which field should I go into? Any advice would also be appreciated.




Save money and go to a local community college and play around with lib arts classes before enrolling in a university and being "undeclared" for the first two years of your life. You'll save money and get to figure things out. I've known way too many people who just attended college "to attend college." One kid, legit, asked, "Can I graduate without declaring a major?" If you really have no idea what to do, work a part-time job and take some CC classes on the side until you figure it out. And yes, I agree with others, if you do attend, major in something useful ( a skill or trade) that can be used if law school doesn't work out... or it it takes longer than expected.

Hope that helps.
:mrgreen:

Edit: I realize "go and play around with classes" almost sounds contradictory to my post's advice. It's not. If you really believe you want to/ have to go to college, but aren't sure what to study, community college is an excellent first step. If I had a choice to do it all over again, I would have attended and got FREE tuition for the first two years, completed all my gen eds, then transferred and focused on my major for two years. I wouldn't be in the predicament I'm in now if I had.




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