Starting out...

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tpat
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:00 am

Starting out...

Postby tpat » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:36 am

I am a junior at a large university in Texas, and I am beginning to set my sights on law school. Kaplan offered a free practice test this weekend, which I took cold, and scored a 150.

I have been wrestling with the grad school versus law school debate for a few months now, but I really think that law is the right fit for me. I have taken some law-related classes during my undergrad thus far, and while I realize it is far from an accurate portrayal of what courses will be like in law school itself, I find the material genuinely interesting. More importantly, I can see myself as an attorney, so I'm not just one of the, "I'm getting a JD because it is so versatile," types. Of course, more has gone into my thoughts about whether or not to go to law school, but articulating them in this single post is unnecessary.

Ultimately, I think I would like to work in public interest law, or for the government — specifically around matters of education policy if I was ever in a position to be picky right out of school. I am very interested in public policy analysis/implementation, and I could see myself working for an education non-profit as a policy advisor or general counsel. I would love to work on Capitol Hill, but staying in-state for a great job opportunity is also appealing to me.

Regarding a law school of choice, it would be a wonderful to attend a school in the lower T14 or anything in the T30, really. I'm not taking the LSAT officially until next semester — probably the early June test, which gives me a good timeframe to begin studying. One of my parents recently lost their job, so I am deeply concerned about debt. Also, I'm a non-URM, and will likely be a splitter with a 3.4 GPA. My softs are good too, with heavy involvement in student government and community service.

I'm just not sure about where to realistically set my expectations since I am so new to this process. What is your best advice for me to begin putting myself in a good position once I begin preparing for the test and sending out applications? Any feedback you all could provide would be wonderful. I'm new to TLS, but so much of the information I have read has been extremely valuable. Thank you so much for your attention and help.

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rdcws000
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:41 pm

Re: Starting out...

Postby rdcws000 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:01 pm

It's hard to say much at this point before you take your LSAT. Too much depends on it.

Do everything you can to excel on the LSAT, come back and report your score. The conversation can go many different ways at that point.

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fugitivejammer
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Starting out...

Postby fugitivejammer » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:27 pm

Yea take the LSAT whenever u feel comfortable with it. Taking a year or two off from school might be something to consider as well. It'll give u a chance to try different things - work, travel, grad degree. This break between school might give u a chance to determine what exactly u want to do, because law school is a significant time and $ commitment and u should probably have a good/specific reason for going. Especially nowadays, b/c employment prospects have not been looking as hot as many ppl imagine it would be. This break in itself would also make u more competitive in law school admissions assuming u can get a little work exp. to ensure u get into the best school u can and solidify your employment prospects as much as possible.

LurkerNoMore
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Starting out...

Postby LurkerNoMore » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:17 am

tpat wrote:I have been wrestling with the grad school versus law school debate for a few months now, but I really think that law is the right fit for me.
***
More importantly, I can see myself as an attorney, so I'm not just one of the, "I'm getting a JD because it is so versatile," types.
***
I am very interested in public policy analysis/implementation, and I could see myself working for an education non-profit as a policy advisor or general counsel. I would love to work on Capitol Hill, but staying in-state for a great job opportunity is also appealing to me.
***
One of my parents recently lost their job, so I am deeply concerned about debt. Also, I'm a non-URM, and will likely be a splitter with a 3.4 GPA.
***
Any feedback you all could provide would be wonderful.


Do not take the LSAT.
Do not go to law school.
Get a job, work for 2-3 years, and then re-evaluate.

You can "see" yourself being an attorney, but don't appear to have any direct experience with the industry.

You would love to work on policy and with non-profits or on Capitol Hill.

You are concerned about debt.

You will, in the best case scenario, be a splitter.

This does not paint a pretty picture for your future if you start going after a JD right now.

Your dream jobs do not require a JD. (I'm really not sure you understand what a GC of a non-profit would usually do.) Go after your dream. Suck it up and work your way up the ladder. A JD is going to saddle you with a tremendous amount of debt, and will probably push you into a career that will be spent servicing your loans.

You are only a junior in college. Start networking. Start interning. Start working towards your policy goals. Do that for a few years after college. If, at that point, you decide that you want to move to the legal side of the issues, then take the LSAT.




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