Road to become a lawyer

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JamesGilly
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Road to become a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:09 pm

So recently I've been taking a look at different colleges, and i've been looking at what I want to major in. I've known for a good year or two that I definitely want to pursue a career as a lawyer, and I want to know any steps that I can take that contribute to my success. Keep in mind I'm only 17, and I'll be applying to colleges next year.

Are there any particular majors that better prepare me for law school?

Should I major in something else where I could find a job in case law school doesn't work out?

Any tips & contributions will be appreciated, I know I am younger than most here but becoming a lawyer is a dream of mine.

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minnbills
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby minnbills » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:22 pm

Well the first thing you should do is talk to family, friends, neighbors etc. who are lawyers- ask them what they think about the profession, what it's like to actually be a lawyer. If possible, see if you can shadow one at work for a day or two.

You have plenty of time, but you should also be wary of setting yourself down too narrow a path. That is, be open to other things when you go to college. You might major in history for example, and decide that you'd rather be a professor.

Keep in mind as well that law school can be really pricey, and it's no golden ticket.

But I would defnitely start with talking to attorneys, try to talk to people who've had varying experiences as well.

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MTal
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby MTal » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:38 pm

Don't go to college unless you major in accounting, math, or one of the hard sciences. (or music, but only if you are already an accomplished/genius musician). Everything else is pretty much a waste, moreso if you have to pay for it.

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:40 pm

minnbills wrote:Well the first thing you should do is talk to family, friends, neighbors etc. who are lawyers- ask them what they think about the profession, what it's like to actually be a lawyer. If possible, see if you can shadow one at work for a day or two.

You have plenty of time, but you should also be wary of setting yourself down too narrow a path. That is, be open to other things when you go to college. You might major in history for example, and decide that you'd rather be a professor.

Keep in mind as well that law school can be really pricey, and it's no golden ticket.

But I would defnitely start with talking to attorneys, try to talk to people who've had varying experiences as well.


Thanks haha, My best friend's dad is a lawyer and I will probably shadow him.

And I'll keep my mind open to new things, but being a lawyer seems like something I would want to do :D

Appreciate the help =)

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:42 pm

Be an engineer. It seems like you are set whatever you want to do after college. If you choose law school, go IP. If not, you still can at least get a decent job.

This advice only applies if you can get reasonably good grades as an engineer though so you don't ruin your chances at attending a good law school.

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Veyron
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:42 pm

Go to a state university on a full ride, take the easiest possible major, get a 4.0, spend all your free time studying for the LSAT from sophomore year on, ???, PROFIT!
Last edited by Veyron on Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:43 pm

MTal wrote:Don't go to college unless you major in accounting, math, or one of the hard sciences. (or music, but only if you are already an accomplished/genius musician). Everything else is pretty much a waste, moreso if you have to pay for it.


None of those subjects interest me, unless "hard science" includes medical school, in which case I have a slight interest. =\

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:43 pm

Veyron wrote:Go to a state university on a full ride, take the easiest possible major, get a 4.0, spend all your free time studying for the LSAT from sophomore year on, ???, PROFIT!


Yeah, if you are pretty committed to going to law school after graduation, just do this.

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IAFG
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby IAFG » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:44 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Be an engineer. It seems like you are set whatever you want to do after college. If you choose law school, go IP. If not, you still can at least get a decent job.

This advice only applies if you can get reasonably good grades as an engineer though so you don't ruin your chances at attending a good law school.

engineering is full of win

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prezidentv8
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:45 pm

In before thread devolves into "ENGINEERING OR LIFEFAIL" (Edit: guess I'm not)

Generally, my advice goes like this:
Major in what you like and be really good at it. BUT make sure to learn something practical along the way that you can turn into a job later if need be.

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:46 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:Be an engineer. It seems like you are set whatever you want to do after college. If you choose law school, go IP. If not, you still can at least get a decent job.

This advice only applies if you can get reasonably good grades as an engineer though so you don't ruin your chances at attending a good law school.


I was considering becoming a computer engineer, but my strengths aren't in other types of engineering. Math-intense subjects are the bane of my existence, though I do well in them.
JamesGilly wrote:
MTal wrote:Don't go to college unless you major in accounting, math, or one of the hard sciences. (or music, but only if you are already an accomplished/genius musician). Everything else is pretty much a waste, moreso if you have to pay for it.


None of those subjects interest me, unless "hard science" includes medical school, in which case I have a slight interest. =\


Do law schools not judge you based on your major as well? I mean if someone majors in something easy and gets a 4.0 won't they look at a person that has say a 3.75 and a harder major and give them priority?

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IAFG
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby IAFG » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:47 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:In before thread devolves into "ENGINEERING OR LIFEFAIL"

Generally, my advice goes like this:
Major in what you like and be really good at it. BUT make sure to learn something practical along the way that you can turn into a job later if need be.

be more specific w practical, i knew so many people in undergrad majoring in psych bc they thought it was practical

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:47 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:In before thread devolves into "ENGINEERING OR LIFEFAIL" (Edit: guess I'm not)

Generally, my advice goes like this:
Major in what you like and be really good at it. BUT make sure to learn something practical along the way that you can turn into a job later if need be.


Thanks for the advice =)

I love English & History so I might major in one of the two. So many to choose from though ;D

d34d9823
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:49 pm

JamesGilly wrote:
MTal wrote:Don't go to college unless you major in accounting, math, or one of the hard sciences. (or music, but only if you are already an accomplished/genius musician). Everything else is pretty much a waste, moreso if you have to pay for it.


None of those subjects interest me, unless "hard science" includes medical school, in which case I have a slight interest. =\

Don't listen to him, he's a notorious troll.

That said, he's right about sociology etc. being a largely useless degree.

I also think the engineering advice is bad if you are set on being a lawyer because GPA is crucial and engineering at most schools is much, much harder to get a high GPA in (both because the classes are harder and because they tend to grade to a very harsh curve).

I agree with the people who said to look into it carefully and choose a major you'd be happy with if you don't go to law school. And most importantly, get a 4.0 in college. That means more than your major for the LS admissions process.

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IAFG
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby IAFG » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:51 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:I also think the engineering advice is bad if you are set on being a lawyer because GPA is crucial and engineering at most schools is much, much harder to get a high GPA in (both because the classes are harder and because they tend to grade to a very harsh curve).

it's true that it will be harder to get into a more prestigious school (unless you choose engineering programs wisely) but the increase in hireability more than compensates for the admissions hindrance; and isn't the point of going to LS to get a job?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:52 pm

JamesGilly wrote:
Do law schools not judge you based on your major as well? I mean if someone majors in something easy and gets a 4.0 won't they look at a person that has say a 3.75 and a harder major and give them priority?
.


Major can play a small role, but it won't typically give you that much of a bump. 4.0 basket-weaving will be better off than 3.75 double major in mechanical engineering and computer science.

Choose major on based on practicality and interest. And then make sure you get the highest GPA you're capable of. At least I think that's the order in one's approach should be.

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to be a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:52 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:
JamesGilly wrote:
MTal wrote:Don't go to college unless you major in accounting, math, or one of the hard sciences. (or music, but only if you are already an accomplished/genius musician). Everything else is pretty much a waste, moreso if you have to pay for it.


None of those subjects interest me, unless "hard science" includes medical school, in which case I have a slight interest. =\

Don't listen to him, he's a notorious troll.

That said, he's right about sociology etc. being a largely useless degree.

I also think the engineering advice is bad if you are set on being a lawyer because GPA is crucial and engineering at most schools is much, much harder to get a high GPA in (both because the classes are harder and because they tend to grade to a very harsh curve).

I agree with the people who said to look into it carefully and choose a major you'd be happy with if you don't go to law school. And most importantly, get a 4.0 in college. That means more than your major for the LS admissions process.



Thanks - and yeah, at first I thought it'd be beneficial to major in something more difficult, but I want something to fall back on in case law school doesn't work out

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kalvano
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby kalvano » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:53 pm

Major in philosophy. It will teach you to think and also, if law school doesn't work out, you'll make an awesome cooler.

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:55 pm

Another question - say you go to a decent undergrad school (in my case I'll be going to one of these 3)

Florida State University

University of South Florida

University of Central Florida


Since I won't be going to a prestigious undergrad school will that hurt my chances to go to a decent law school?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:01 pm

JamesGilly wrote:
Since I won't be going to a prestigious undergrad school will that hurt my chances to go to a decent law school?


No. While going to the VERY BEST schools can provide a bump, not going to Harvard or Princeton will not hurt your chances.

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:02 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
JamesGilly wrote:
Since I won't be going to a prestigious undergrad school will that hurt my chances to go to a decent law school?


No. While going to the VERY BEST schools can provide a bump, not going to Harvard or Princeton will not hurt your chances.


Haha that's good to hear :D

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:05 pm

JamesGilly wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
JamesGilly wrote:
Since I won't be going to a prestigious undergrad school will that hurt my chances to go to a decent law school?


No. While going to the VERY BEST schools can provide a bump, not going to Harvard or Princeton will not hurt your chances.


Haha that's good to hear :D


Right now your focus should be on making sure you get good grades as a freshmen, but make sure to have a lot of fun too. Try to shadow a few lawyers at work. See if any will answer some of your questions over lunch.

In all reality, it's probably way to early on to know for sure if law school is the best path for you. Investigate other things that interest you too. Try not to be too focused on one particular path right now, but don't do things that would limit some of those paths (i.e. bad grades).

JamesGilly
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby JamesGilly » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:07 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
JamesGilly wrote:
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
JamesGilly wrote:
Since I won't be going to a prestigious undergrad school will that hurt my chances to go to a decent law school?


No. While going to the VERY BEST schools can provide a bump, not going to Harvard or Princeton will not hurt your chances.


Haha that's good to hear :D


Right now your focus should be on making sure you get good grades as a freshmen, but make sure to have a lot of fun too. Try to shadow a few lawyers at work. See if any will answer some of your questions over lunch.

In all reality, it's probably way to early on to know for sure if law school is the best path for you. Investigate other things that interest you too. Try not to be too focused on one particular path right now, but don't do things that would limit some of those paths (i.e. bad grades).


I'll always keep an open mind :D I just feel like my strengths & interests point to lawyer as being a great profession for me. We'll see though

Appreciate the advice =)

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Veyron
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby Veyron » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:29 am

JamesGilly wrote:Another question - say you go to a decent undergrad school (in my case I'll be going to one of these 3)

Florida State University

University of South Florida

University of Central Florida


Since I won't be going to a prestigious undergrad school will that hurt my chances to go to a decent law school?


Depends on the school. Some, like Penn, give a slight boost for schools like the Ivys, Northwestern, Berk, Georgetown, Duke, Chicago, MIT, Caltech, etc. Again, 4.0 at State U > 3.8 at any of these for admissions purposes. Do keep in mind that attending a less prestigious undergrad will make your LSAT score correspondingly more important.

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romothesavior
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Re: Road to become a lawyer

Postby romothesavior » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:36 am

Trade school.




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