Should I even bother?

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Smoe_Coat
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Should I even bother?

Postby Smoe_Coat » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:56 pm

I am currently a Sophomore in High School with well above average grades (I have a 3.97 GPA) and a genuine interest in law and politics. However, I am rather turned off by the massive amount of debt one incurs from law school through loans and have heard how difficult it is to find real work due to the massive amount of people graduating from law school simply because they think they can make an exorbitant amount of money. I realize his and given the current state of the profession and my ability to rather easily be able to transition to another field (computer programming is of interest to me, as is teaching), is it even worth my time to go through undergraduate school and then still have to go into law school, plus the unlikelihood of employment and the debt I will accumulate, should I focus on other fields or try to weather the storm and attempt success in the legal profession?

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bk1
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:58 pm

:shock:

EDIT: I'm calling elaborate troll. How does a high school sophomore have a 3.97?

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MrKappus
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:00 pm

You are not even close to the person you will be by the time you have to make a decision about law school. Go away. Come back (as that person) in 6 years.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:02 pm

You'll have all of college to make that decision.

ETA: Also, we need a damn age floor on this forum.
Last edited by Bildungsroman on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TrackTony88
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby TrackTony88 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:02 pm

worry about learning how to drive first.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby Adjudicator » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:05 pm

If you're really interested in being a lawyer, there's no reason not to. You're thinking ahead early enough to put yourself in a fantastic position. It's awesome that you've found this site already; this site is a great resource and many law students don't even know about it going into law school. You're ahead of the game.

Here is your plan of action:

1. Keep up the hard work in high school, try to have some extracurriculars, etc.
2. Apply to college. This will depend on your financial situation, but try to get into the best and/or most prestigious school that you feel you can afford.
3. Major in something that you know you can get straight A's in. Grades matter more than the subject matter. I would hope it would be something that interests you, as well. In my opinion, majors that teach critical reading, writing, and analysis, like literature or philosophy, are helpful down the road.
4. Get A's in college, and maybe pick up a few extracurriculars for your resume along the way, especially if you are interested in Harvard/Yale/Stanford. You'll need something that makes you unique that you can write about. Get involved in something interesting.
4.5 (optional, probably helpful in the long run). Get a year or two of interesting work experience after undergraduate, and work on paying off any debts you have. Look for an interesting or unique opportunity that will set you apart from others.
5. Take the LSAT and score very well. If you can do all of the steps up to this point, I'm sure you're capable of this, too.

If you do all of this, you will have a reasonable shot at any law school. I can't say that to many people, but you're thinking about this so early in the process that nothing is ruled out.

There are obviously plenty of other great careers out there besides law. But if law is something that you are really interested in, don't be discouraged yet. You are in a great position.

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:06 pm

You don't even get to go to college before 12/12/12. Worry about that.

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MrKappus
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:08 pm

Incidentally, why is no one scared of 10/10/10? Or 11/11/11? And if the Mayans could predict the world's end, shouldn't they have been able to predict the implosion of their own society and take action to prevent it? These are the things that trouble me.

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:11 pm

MrKappus wrote:Incidentally, why is no one scared of 10/10/10? Or 11/11/11? And if the Mayans could predict the world's end, shouldn't they have been able to predict the implosion of their own society and take action to prevent it? These are the things that trouble me.

End of the world was just an annotation on their calendar, like Christmas or Flag day. They said it was on there when they bought it.

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MrKappus
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:13 pm

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Incidentally, why is no one scared of 10/10/10? Or 11/11/11? And if the Mayans could predict the world's end, shouldn't they have been able to predict the implosion of their own society and take action to prevent it? These are the things that trouble me.

End of the world was just an annotation on their calendar, like Christmas or Flag day. They said it was on there when they bought it.


Shouldn't the society that put it on there still have been able to predict their own downfall and prevent it?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:16 pm

When applying to law school, your choice of undergrad major doesn't matter at all. Get a degree in something you think would be marketable or useful (perhaps something in computer science), make sure you keep your college GPA up, and then when you've gotten that out of the way, you can decide whether to try to use that degree to find a job, or to apply to law school.

That's a long way off for now. The right decisions for making it in another profession are kind of the same decisions that would set you up to go to law school down the road, so just focus on something you find interesting and that would lead to a career possibly, and you can always change direction and go to law school later if you want.

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OrdinarilySkilled
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:17 pm

MrKappus wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Incidentally, why is no one scared of 10/10/10? Or 11/11/11? And if the Mayans could predict the world's end, shouldn't they have been able to predict the implosion of their own society and take action to prevent it? These are the things that trouble me.

End of the world was just an annotation on their calendar, like Christmas or Flag day. They said it was on there when they bought it.


Shouldn't the society that put it on there still have been able to predict their own downfall and prevent it?


I don't think you can consider Hallmark a society.

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GoGetIt
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby GoGetIt » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:18 pm

TrackTony88 wrote:worry about learning how to drive first.


LOL

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MrKappus
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby MrKappus » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:20 pm

Hallmark sold a calendar to the ancient Mayans? Where'd OP go. I was enjoying giving advice to someone that is MORE THAN A DECADE YOUNGER THAN ME. Holy crap. OP: good luck with your decision. But definitely don't worry about law school now. I had good grades in high school too (3.92 unweighted), but I wish I'd had more fun and taken it less seriously. Things don't get serious until college (and sometimes much later). Get off law school forums and go enjoy being 16.

revolution724
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby revolution724 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:39 pm

Smoe_Coat wrote:I am currently a Sophomore in High School with well above average grades (I have a 3.97 GPA)


Go to college, get the best grades you can, and decide after you've graduated and try working. Nobody knows what the job market is going to look like in 10 - 15 years, and you don't know what you'll want to do 10 - 15 years from now even if you think you do.

Smoe_Coat
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby Smoe_Coat » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:47 pm

Thank you for all the advice. I know it's certainly odd having someone of my age on this forum (I can assume most at youngest are in undergraduate study) but I don't want be out of high school and have no idea as to what I will do with my life and where I wish to go to college. I was doing some research and stumbled across this forum. I though there would be more like me on here, but I guess that was a gross overestimation. I realize the field could change greatly between now and when I would graduate from law school, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst and to have a backup plan. I simply want to explore all my options, research said options, and make an educated decision as to what I will do with my life subsequent to my senior year in high school. I apologize for how odd this question was compared to others on this forum and especially considering my age and how long it will be until many of my apprehensions are even valid. Unfortunately I'm rather paranoid on such subjects and often over prepare, which has upsides and downsides. Your advice will certainly be noted and will hopefully aide in future decisions. With any luck I might be back on here in about six years with questions about preparing for law school rather than if I should even consider it.

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bk1
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby bk1 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:50 pm

Smoe_Coat wrote:Thank you for all the advice. I know it's certainly odd having someone of my age on this forum (I can assume most at youngest are in undergraduate study) but I don't want be out of high school and have no idea as to what I will do with my life and where I wish to go to college. I was doing some research and stumbled across this forum. I though there would be more like me on here, but I guess that was a gross overestimation. I realize the field could change greatly between now and when I would graduate from law school, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst and to have a backup plan. I simply want to explore all my options, research said options, and make an educated decision as to what I will do with my life subsequent to my senior year in high school. I apologize for how odd this question was compared to others on this forum and especially considering my age and how long it will be until many of my apprehensions are even valid. Unfortunately I'm rather paranoid on such subjects and often over prepare, which has upsides and downsides. Your advice will certainly be noted and will hopefully aide in future decisions. With any luck I might be back on here in about six years with questions about preparing for law school rather than if I should even consider it.


If you are serious, law school is an easy backup plan to have. All you need is a) good grades in undergrad (which you should be striving for anyways) and b) good LSAT score (which you can start studying for at any time). You don't need to do any prepwork like med school so don't worry, law school is always an option.

revolution724
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby revolution724 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:01 am

The good news is, it doesn't matter where you go to undergrad and it doesn't matter what courses you take. Your GPA matters and your LSAT score matters, and your ability to read analytically and write well will matter partly on your personal statement and more so after you get to law school. You might find majoring in something like English or Philosophy helpful because they teach writing and analytical skills, but they're not necessary. That's why it's easy to say, "worry about it later," because there's not really much prep work you can do at this point besides what's already been suggested - go to a college in which you think you'll do well (but preferably choose one with which you'd be happy whether you go to law school or not), get the best grades you can because you will need good grades for your graduate education whatever it may be, and think about this again when you're closer to applying.

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legalease9
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby legalease9 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:09 am

In terms of undergrad, I would look for a way to go as cheaply as possible, especially if you are looking for LS. Don't go prestigious if it will cost you 40k a year with COL to attend. Go to an undergrad for cheep (public or huge scholly), get good grades, and get into a prestigious Law School.

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MrKappus
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby MrKappus » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:03 am

legalease9 wrote:In terms of undergrad, I would look for a way to go as cheaply as possible, especially if you are looking for LS. Don't go prestigious if it will cost you 40k a year with COL to attend. Go to an undergrad for cheep (public or huge scholly), get good grades, and get into a prestigious Law School.


This is a great plan unless you (1) decide not to attend law/other grad school; (2) don't do exceedingly well; or (3) want to have options upon graduating from UG. Also, if you look through the partners at V100 firms, you'll see very few of them went to Rocky Mountain State University for "cheep."

Attend the best schools you can. It's an investment.

PostHawk
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby PostHawk » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:17 am

Smoe_Coat wrote:Thank you for all the advice. I know it's certainly odd having someone of my age on this forum (I can assume most at youngest are in undergraduate study) but I don't want be out of high school and have no idea as to what I will do with my life and where I wish to go to college. I was doing some research and stumbled across this forum. I though there would be more like me on here, but I guess that was a gross overestimation. I realize the field could change greatly between now and when I would graduate from law school, but it never hurts to be prepared for the worst and to have a backup plan. I simply want to explore all my options, research said options, and make an educated decision as to what I will do with my life subsequent to my senior year in high school. I apologize for how odd this question was compared to others on this forum and especially considering my age and how long it will be until many of my apprehensions are even valid. Unfortunately I'm rather paranoid on such subjects and often over prepare, which has upsides and downsides. Your advice will certainly be noted and will hopefully aide in future decisions. With any luck I might be back on here in about six years with questions about preparing for law school rather than if I should even consider it.



Go to a decent undergrad and try to major in something useful/easy. I wish I would've been thinking about law school this early. I would have gone to a cheaper undergrad and majored in something I knew I could get straight As in. Law schools don't care about what you do in high school. Once you get into college try building up your softs by doing things such as getting elected for student government, internships (preferably something to do with law), and find any "leadership" position you can. You can also do volunteer work and get involved in various clubs/activities. Also go talk to lawyers around your area and see if you can sit in on trials to help you decide if law is something you really want to do. As for right now enjoy being a high school student where you don't have to study for tests and can still make As.

revolution724
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby revolution724 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:18 am

MrKappus wrote:
legalease9 wrote:In terms of undergrad, I would look for a way to go as cheaply as possible, especially if you are looking for LS. Don't go prestigious if it will cost you 40k a year with COL to attend. Go to an undergrad for cheep (public or huge scholly), get good grades, and get into a prestigious Law School.


This is a great plan unless you (1) decide not to attend law/other grad school; (2) don't do exceedingly well; or (3) want to have options upon graduating from UG. Also, if you look through the partners at V100 firms, you'll see very few of them went to Rocky Mountain State University for "cheep."

Attend the best schools you can. It's an investment.


I'm sort of of two minds about this.

On the one hand, I don't think it'd hurt your chances too much in other fields to go to whatever large public "University of Yourstate" you have, unless it's a notoriously bad one, and on law school applications, a 4.0 at University of Yourstate beats a 3.2 at Yale.

On the other hand, I get asked where I went to undergrad a lot, especially by employers, and I am not one of those fresh-out-of-undergrad people - I graduated in 1998 and went to grad school before law school, too. I'm very glad, every time I get that question, that I went to a well-respected undergrad (which in fact has a good law school attached to it, although I'm going to law school somewhere else) and can talk about how it was an enriching experience to go there.

So, do a cost-benefit analysis.

Smoe_Coat
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby Smoe_Coat » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:35 am

revolution724 wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
legalease9 wrote:In terms of undergrad, I would look for a way to go as cheaply as possible, especially if you are looking for LS. Don't go prestigious if it will cost you 40k a year with COL to attend. Go to an undergrad for cheep (public or huge scholly), get good grades, and get into a prestigious Law School.


This is a great plan unless you (1) decide not to attend law/other grad school; (2) don't do exceedingly well; or (3) want to have options upon graduating from UG.  Also, if you look through the partners at V100 firms, you'll see very few of them went to Rocky Mountain State University for "cheep."

Attend the best schools you can.  It's an investment.


I'm sort of of two minds about this.  

On the one hand, I don't think it'd hurt your chances too much in other fields to go to whatever large public "University of Yourstate" you have, unless it's a notoriously bad one, and on law school applications, a 4.0 at University of Yourstate beats a 3.2 at Yale.

On the other hand, I get asked where I went to undergrad a lot, especially by employers, and I am not one of those fresh-out-of-undergrad people - I graduated in 1998 and went to grad school before law school, too.  I'm very glad, every time I get that question, that I went to a well-respected undergrad (which in fact has a good law school attached to it, although I'm going to law school somewhere else) and can talk about how it was an enriching experience to go there.

So, do a cost-benefit analysis.


Fortunately I have the University of Michigan in my state, and I know it has a fairly prestigious law school. I don't know if I would attend law school there, but regardless I think attending there for undergrad would be a fairly good investment given I'm a resident of Michigan and would get a cheaper tuition and this does not even include scholarships, of which I intend to apply to as many as I can.

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Iconoclast
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby Iconoclast » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:01 pm

Smoe_Coat wrote:Fortunately I have the University of Michigan in my state, and I know it has a fairly prestigious law school. I don't know if I would attend law school there, but regardless I think attending there for undergrad would be a fairly good investment given I'm a resident of Michigan and would get a cheaper tuition and this does not even include scholarships, of which I intend to apply to as many as I can.


Michigan fits the bill perfectly. Cheap for residents, and doesn't come across as TTT to employers.

Have fun now.
Get good grades in college.
Pick a charity or organization to volunteer for and do it throughout undergrad.
Resist the temptation to rack up a bunch of debt in UG.
Study like hell for the LSAT (but not yet - go be a teenager).

Ultimately, for the vast majority of schools, your LSAT (most important) and UG GPA (second most important) will determine your chance of admission. Neither of which you can do anything about yet - so focus on having some fun, continuing to do well in school, and figuring out what you want to major in when you go to college. Your choice of major will not significantly impact your law school application, so (as others have said) do something you're interested in and can get good grades at the same time. A 4.0 in underwater basket weaving trumps a 3.2 in biochemical engineering (for law admissions) but the basketweaving option would pretty much force you to continue to law school if you want to ever get a job... so something in between the two is the right answer unless you are absolutely sure you want to continue to law school (in which case, basketweaving is the right answer) :)

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legalease9
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Re: Should I even bother?

Postby legalease9 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:47 pm

MrKappus wrote:
legalease9 wrote:In terms of undergrad, I would look for a way to go as cheaply as possible, especially if you are looking for LS. Don't go prestigious if it will cost you 40k a year with COL to attend. Go to an undergrad for cheep (public or huge scholly), get good grades, and get into a prestigious Law School.


This is a great plan unless you (1) decide not to attend law/other grad school; (2) don't do exceedingly well; or (3) want to have options upon graduating from UG. Also, if you look through the partners at V100 firms, you'll see very few of them went to Rocky Mountain State University for "cheep."

Attend the best schools you can. It's an investment.


1. I did say especially if you are looking for LS. Although I do understand the concern that OP may not know what he wants at this age.

2 and 3. No. The evidence simply isn't there that you get a huge boost for any job coming out of a hyper-prestigious undergrad vs. coming out of a solid state school for cheap. You may get a slight boost at certain ivy league grad schools, but the boost isn't worth the cash (unless you have no money concerns).

I was unclear in my original post. What I meant was go to a good public UG school for cheap vs. an elite school like Harvard for sticker (unless you have no money concerns). I didn't mean pick a shit school out of the phonebook because they give full rides.

In terms elite lawyers' UG, correlation does not prove causation. You would need a lot of evidence to show that their elite undergrad got them the law firm job. That evidence isn't there.

Finally. The cost of attendance (COL included), per year of attending Harvard UG...

http://admissions.college.harvard.edu/f ... /cost.html

$53,950 - $56,750. Thats 227k in cost by the time you get out on a four year track. Not worth it. Especially if you want LS.




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