Pre-Law as an UG Major

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englawyer
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby englawyer » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:20 am

washed out wrote:So from what I gather, an undergraduate curriculum built around preparing a student for law school is entirely counterproductive to getting said student into law school. Correct?

I'd like to dive deeper into this paradox. Anybody here care to endorse a pre-law course of study?


i believe the reasoning is that since law is an intensive trade field, someone studying it should really focus on it without diverting their attention to other fields of study. this goes against the college philosophy of getting a well-rounded base. at most colleges, a major is only like 6-10 courses and there are a ton of other requirements.

pre-law majors also tend to enter law school thinking "they know about the law already" which can distort their views.

on a personal level, it can be a bad idea because if law school doesn't pan out or you change your mind, you will have some explaining to do for the rest of your life (applying to non-law jobs as a "prelaw" major).

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Unitas
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby Unitas » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:23 am

washed out wrote:So from what I gather, an undergraduate curriculum built around preparing a student for law school is entirely counterproductive to getting said student into law school. Correct?

I'd like to dive deeper into this paradox. Anybody here care to endorse a pre-law course of study?


No.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:27 am

This is in no way intended to bash anyone's UG, but the correlation between low LSAT scores and a pre-law major stems from the fact that lower-tier UG's are the only ones who offer an actual "Pre-Law" major.

I can't imagine what comprises an actual pre-law major. I keep getting paralegal-esque courses in my head. And that's not good for anyone.

Make sure, whatever you do, that you learn to write well in UG. Other than that, you're fine as long as you have a good GPA.

Now go to a house party or prom or something!!!

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rayiner
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby rayiner » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:38 am

The LSAT score by major data was all collected at the same school (UIC). There are actually qualification differences between people in different majors in the same school. Check out Duke's class profile this year. The e-school has substantially better incoming SAT scores than the liberal arts college.

09042014
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:49 am

Veyron wrote:Pre-law majors actually have the lowest average LSAT scores of any major (if someone could find the list to corroborate this, that would be great). Something mathy has the top spot. In general, if you want to go to law school TAKE MAJOR WHERE IT IS EASIEST TO GET A's (I wish I had done this). Then, use all of your free time to study your ass off for the LSAT. This is the best advice you will ever receive and if you don't take it (and you want to be a lawyer), you are an idiot.


I would bet it isn't that Pre-law makes you do worse on the LSAT, and math and philosophy make you better, but instead naturally intelligent people self select away from pre-law and into math/philosophy etc etc.

Also good colleges, with more intelligent students on average, do not have pre-law majors.

washed out
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby washed out » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:59 am

I actually was not aware that pre law is offered as a major, which is why I say, "pre law curriculum/course of study."

From collegeboard.com:

Almost never offered as a major, a prelaw advising program will help you stay on track as you prepare for law school.


Surely, someone on this board completed their UG with a prelaw focus and had a positive experience that counters the negative perception. Shirley.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:01 pm

washed out wrote:I actually was not aware that pre law is offered as a major, which is why I say, "pre law curriculum/course of study."

From collegeboard.com:

Almost never offered as a major, a prelaw advising program will help you stay on track as you prepare for law school.


Surely, someone on this board completed their UG with a prelaw focus and had a positive experience that counters the negative perception. Shirley.


Yeah, I mean had theoretically had a "pre-law" focus. It entailed meeting once or twice with a pre-law advisor who told me to get a good GPA, LSAT score, and learn to reason and write. The end.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:09 pm

Kiersten1985 wrote:
washed out wrote:I actually was not aware that pre law is offered as a major, which is why I say, "pre law curriculum/course of study."

From collegeboard.com:

Almost never offered as a major, a prelaw advising program will help you stay on track as you prepare for law school.


Surely, someone on this board completed their UG with a prelaw focus and had a positive experience that counters the negative perception. Shirley.


Yeah, I mean had theoretically had a "pre-law" focus. It entailed meeting once or twice with a pre-law advisor who told me to get a good GPA, LSAT score, and learn to reason and write. The end.


TITCR +1

We're not just messing with you or trying to screw you up. Pre-law is really not a good idea. There are people on this board going to some of the best schools in the country, and I have never heard of any of them doing pre-law. It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you want to go to a good law school pick a somewhat respected major you enjoy because that major will get you a high GPA. GPA and LSAT score = 97% of law school admissions.

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dutchstriker
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby dutchstriker » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:10 pm

Veyron wrote:Pre-law majors actually have the lowest average LSAT scores of any major (if someone could find the list to corroborate this, that would be great). Something mathy has the top spot. In general, if you want to go to law school TAKE MAJOR WHERE IT IS EASIEST TO GET A's (I wish I had done this). Then, use all of your free time to study your ass off for the LSAT. This is the best advice you will ever receive and if you don't take it (and you want to be a lawyer), you are an idiot.

Try scrolling up.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:17 pm

washed out wrote:So from what I gather, an undergraduate curriculum built around preparing a student for law school is entirely counterproductive to getting said student into law school. Correct?

I'd like to dive deeper into this paradox. Anybody here care to endorse a pre-law course of study?


Ohhhh I see where your confusion lies now.

What we're saying is that there isn't really a definitive curriculum that can prepare someone for law school. UG isn't law school and there aren't any legal concepts or anything like that that you can learn during UG that would give you a leg up in the admissions process or in law school itself. The only thing you can do in UG to help you get into LS is get a high GPA and LSAT score. Admissions rarely care about little else unless you have some fantastic softs (but those would only be a boost - they're not going to override a bad GPA/LSAT). The only thing you can do in UG to prepare for actual law courses is to learn to reason and write, which would mean take some humanities courses. Still, your UG's basic requirements will probably cover this anyway, and you're going to be re-taught how to reason and write for three years in law school.

Does that make more sense?

washed out
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby washed out » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:41 pm

For the record, I've graduated from UG, applied and was accepted into law school for Fall 2010. So maybe a prelaw focus doesn't help you get into law school; perhaps it may even hinder your chances, if you don't consider the idea that intelligent people choose other majors. So does prelaw have use once you get into law school?

expat
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby expat » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:51 pm

Although pre-law may be a bad idea at most schools, there are exceptions. I was a legal studies major and all my classes were taught by professors from the law school (a T6). They didn't pretend to teach 1L in advance, but rather taught about legal context (historical, philosophical, etc). I also did very well on the lsat and have an HYS acceptance, so I doubt the adcoms discriminated against me. Just do what you are interested in and do it well...don't spend 4 years as a philosopy major just to improve your LR score or look diverse. Trust me, you wont.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:55 pm

washed out wrote:For the record, I've graduated from UG, applied and was accepted into law school for Fall 2010. So maybe a prelaw focus doesn't help you get into law school; perhaps it may even hinder your chances, if you don't consider the idea that intelligent people choose other majors. So does prelaw have use once you get into law school?


I'm assuming you had a pre-law focus in UG by the questions you're asking. Can you elaborate on what that meant at your school? We can probably give you a better answer if we know what your curriculum was like.

And any reference I made to high school was directed at the OP, by the way, not at you. S/he is in high school.

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underachiever
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby underachiever » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:55 pm

OP don't do it

washed out
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby washed out » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:13 pm

Kiersten1985 wrote:
washed out wrote:For the record, I've graduated from UG, applied and was accepted into law school for Fall 2010. So maybe a prelaw focus doesn't help you get into law school; perhaps it may even hinder your chances, if you don't consider the idea that intelligent people choose other majors. So does prelaw have use once you get into law school?


I'm assuming you had a pre-law focus in UG by the questions you're asking. Can you elaborate on what that meant at your school? We can probably give you a better answer if we know what your curriculum was like.

And any reference I made to high school was directed at the OP, by the way, not at you. S/he is in high school.


Noted.

I have a cousin who is a H.S. senior and is considering prelaw as an option; she's looking at me for some advice, similar to the op. I had no idea about the bad perceptions of prelaw mentioned on this thread (and others). At first, I thought prelaw may be unnecessary - now I see some people refer to it as a detrimental pursuit.

I was a journalism major, decided on law school senior year.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Pre-Law as an UG Major

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:40 pm

No.




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