Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

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JCDante
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Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby JCDante » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:47 pm

How difficult is it to obtain biglaw worthy grades relative to undergraduates who deal with notoriously tough majors such as engineering, computer science, and pre-med? I recognize this is apples and oranges, but how would you compare them in terms of workload and stress?

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t-14orbust
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby t-14orbust » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:49 pm

depends on the school dude

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby MarkfromWI » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:04 pm

I went to a small liberal arts university, but was in the business school and not the school of liberal arts. My business degree wasn't fluff- I had to go through calc, accounting, finance, stats, and courses like that, but it definitely wasn't an engineering degree by any means. Anyway, speaking solely based off of my experience, I have had to expend significantly more effort to score well in law school than I did in UG. As T-14orbust said, so much of it will depend on the schools you went to (both UG and LS) but anyone who says LS doesn't take more work than UG is full of shit.

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Attax
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby Attax » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:50 pm

I think Mark's anecdote actually contrasts quite well with mine merely to illustrate that it doesn't matter and is random. I feel that I'm putting in a lot less work than I did pursuing my UG degree (hard science) to get better grades than I did in UG. I'm outside of T14orbust's range of schools however, but don't feel as if that influences the difficulty of my school (UT).

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:00 pm

MarkfromWI wrote:so much of it will depend on the schools you went to (both UG and LS) but anyone who says LS doesn't take more work than UG is full of shit.

YibanRen
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby YibanRen » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:06 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:
MarkfromWI wrote:so much of it will depend on the schools you went to (both UG and LS) but anyone who says LS doesn't take more work than UG is full of shit.


Sometimes. It depends on the school/program. At my school 70% ending up around median, and you really only needed to avoid the bottom 15 or so percent to have a good chance at getting a job. I mean you could coast. If you were doing LS in the way it was intended, there is no way that UG had more work.

ylee1223
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby ylee1223 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:34 am

YibanRen wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:
MarkfromWI wrote:so much of it will depend on the schools you went to (both UG and LS) but anyone who says LS doesn't take more work than UG is full of shit.


Sometimes. It depends on the school/program. At my school 70% ending up around median, and you really only needed to avoid the bottom 15 or so percent to have a good chance at getting a job. I mean you could coast. If you were doing LS in the way it was intended, there is no way that UG had more work.


Do you mind sharing which school?

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esq
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby esq » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:39 am

Tough. Need to go to a T10, and even at that point, you probably need to be top 30% of the class after 1L to secure biglaw. The whole process involving the curve adds a whole new layer of arbitrary to the equation on top of this, but I can't really tell you how it compares in relation to other advanced degrees.

Edit: It will be much more difficult to do well in law school, especially one that gives you a decent shot at biglaw, than it would be to obtain any undergraduate degree...those classes, even the difficult ones in science, math, engineering, can give anyone who deserves high marks...high marks. This doesn't happen in law school.

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Winston1984
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby Winston1984 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:56 am

esq wrote:Tough. Need to go to a T10, and even at that point, you probably need to be top 30% of the class after 1L to secure biglaw. The whole process involving the curve adds a whole new layer of arbitrary to the equation on top of this, but I can't really tell you how it compares in relation to other advanced degrees.

Edit: It will be much more difficult to do well in law school, especially one that gives you a decent shot at biglaw, than it would be to obtain any undergraduate degree...those classes, even the difficult ones in science, math, engineering, can give anyone who deserves high marks...high marks. This doesn't happen in law school.

T10 is a pretty meaningless distinction. NU and Cornell students have just as good of a shot (if not better) at biglaw as Mich and Berk students do.

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mephistopheles
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby mephistopheles » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:02 pm

easier. without a doubt, easier.

just more reading is all

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banjo
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby banjo » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:45 pm

In undergrad I had a steady stream of midterms, problem sets, presentations, and papers. I personally found that a LOT harder to juggle than law school, where you have months to prepare for a single three-hour exam.

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SweetTort
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby SweetTort » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:58 pm

For those of us in joke-state UG with joke majors, are we fucked if we go to law school?

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Nebby
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby Nebby » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:07 pm

SweetTort wrote:For those of us in joke-state UG with joke majors, are we fucked if we go to law school?

Regardless of any antecedent, you're fucked.

lawschoolftw
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby lawschoolftw » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:22 pm

CounselorNebby wrote:
SweetTort wrote:For those of us in joke-state UG with joke majors, are we fucked if we go to law school?

Regardless of any antecedent, you're fucked.


Probably the credited response. But, to offer a serious answer to what I'm not sure if a serious question--no, you're not. I came from a joke-state UG with a dual in History/Poli Sci and I landed at the top of my class at my T20. Law school is not objectively hard like math/science, but it takes a lot of efficient, hard work to figure out how to do well on a law school exam.

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sublime
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby sublime » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:32 pm

..

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star fox
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby star fox » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:13 pm

Law School is just Social Studies All Stars.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:04 am

STEM major in undergrad at an elite school but didn't have a great work ethic for class, mostly due to substance abuse issues. I've worked more in law school, definitely more reading and taking my classes more seriously, but it could also have to do with increased participation in campus life (research and publication, boards of organizations, moot courts, ect.). I didn't give a shit about any of that stuff in college and never participated in leadership or clubs or anything so I feel "busier" with law school? Idk.

Don't worry about this stuff. Be prepared to work your ass off as a 1L and that's about it. It's bad but it's not that bad

juzam_djinn
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby juzam_djinn » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:55 am

compared to engineering (esp. at a top UG) the subject matter taught in LS is a piece of cake, but keep in mind as easy as the concepts are, it's going to be that much harder to distinguish yourself. The diff. b/w top 1%, top 10%, and top 25% can sometimes be a matter of a couple sentences in any given exam.

thus, law school is more stressful at times, and more difficult in certain ways than UG. However, I imagine if you were in a notoriously easy program at your college, then LS will be conceptually difficult as well....

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cyrilfiggis
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby cyrilfiggis » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:52 pm

sublime wrote:
SweetTort wrote:For those of us in joke-state UG with joke majors, are we fucked if we go to law school?



Naw. I went to a joke college with a joke major and am doing well in LS.

May be different though if you struggled a lot with your bullshit major.

Probably pretty random.


Similarly went to rando-state school college with a very fluff major and took easy classes. Doing well in LS currently. It would be stupid to say you're "fucked" but obviously a lot of individual factors to consider. Adjust your expectations regarding your work ethic and then you have just as good a shot as anyone else to do well (or poorly) at LS.

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lhanvt13
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby lhanvt13 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:15 pm

Law school is a joke compared to my UG.

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nealric
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby nealric » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:21 pm

Really depends.

At most schools in the top 20 or so, and even more so at the very top, you wold have to REALLY slack to actually fail out. It's not uncommon for no grades lower than a B- to be awarded at a top school. The highest ranked schools have no real grades at all (Honors/Pass/Fail).

On the other hand, getting top marks at any law school requires quite a bit of grinding for the vast majority of people. The one thing the Magnas had in common at my law school was that every single one worked very hard. There's probably a few geniuses out there that can get away without doing much work, but they are extremely rare.

Getting any graduate degree at all is way easier than getting any JD. Heck, you can graduate from some for-profit schools while remaining barely literate. But just graduating from the very top engineering programs is substantially more difficult than just graduating from from law school. Good law schools don't weed people out, good engineering programs do.

collegebum1989
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby collegebum1989 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:40 pm

Material-wise, the content of law school isn't really that difficult. You can probably teach it to yourself without ever going to class.

That said, doing well is significantly harder - and that's because of the curve. You're placed in a school with people with comparable intelligence (by LSAT/GPA as a predictor) and evaluated entirely off one three-hour, three-question exam for an entire course. Therefore, the margin of difference is scores between a B and a A will not be that great, but the employment prospects with a B average and an A average is huge. Same thing can be said about the quality of school you go to. A median student at T14 may not be that much more capable than a median student at a T25, but the job prospects will be much much greater.

In undergrad, even with the most difficult major, it's easier to do well because you have many more ways to distinguish yourself from your classmates - group projects, assignments, mid-terms, papers, etc. This effectively separates the ones who are willing to work hard versus the lazy people who just get by. In law school, you can have someone that doesn't do shit all semester, but then gets the highest grade on the final because they are inherently better at issue-spotting and factual analysis.


That's why it's absolutely unpredictable how one will do in law school in advance because in addition to not knowing the material, you don't know the inherent ability of your classmates on exams beyond LSAT and GPA.

Grad school is a joke. I got a masters in engineering and it wasn't nearly as difficult to do well in that than in law school. Most grad schools inflate GPAs from a 3.0 to a 4.0 and grades aren't really used for separating the class for employment so most professors just hand out all A's anyway. The material, however, was substantially more difficult, as was the research.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Difficulty of attaining JD compared to undergraduate degrees

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:33 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:Grad school is a joke. I got a masters in engineering and it wasn't nearly as difficult to do well in that than in law school. Most grad schools inflate GPAs from a 3.0 to a 4.0 and grades aren't really used for separating the class for employment so most professors just hand out all A's anyway. The material, however, was substantially more difficult, as was the research.


this isn't universally true




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