Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

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hellohihello
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Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby hellohihello » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:34 am

Since Computer Science and Economics are pretty math heavy and involve less reading/writing than say English or Political Science, does choosing either of those two majors put you at a disadvantage in law school which is basically a read all day/write all day sort of endeavor? Does it put you at a disadvantage in law practice to not have developed advanced writing skills in college due to a more quantitative major?

09042014
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:41 am

hellohihello wrote:Since Computer Science and Economics are pretty math heavy and involve less reading/writing than say English or Political Science, does choosing either of those two majors put you at a disadvantage in law school which is basically a read all day/write all day sort of endeavor? Does it put you at a disadvantage in law practice to not have developed advanced writing skills in college due to a more quantitative major?


Economics probably has enough writing. Even Comp Sci won't hurt you, just take a couple writings classes to stay sharp.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby GATORTIM » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:12 am

no, but law school is a bad idea if you have a computer science degree. i would use the CS and forgo law

SpiteFence
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby SpiteFence » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:20 am

Economics is great for ls, especially if its offered by your business school. You will have a running start on a lot of topics.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:04 am

GATORTIM wrote:no, but law school is a bad idea if you have a computer science degree. i would use the CS and forgo law


You obviously don't realize where CS is going.

DesertFox wrote:Economics probably has enough writing. Even Comp Sci won't hurt you, just take a couple writings classes to stay sharp.


2 of my CS core courses required more writing than my Poli Sci minor add together.

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NZA
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby NZA » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:06 am

PoliSigh is probably not a good bet.

Not to flame, but it seems like (nota bene: seems like, not is. I'm a 0L, just going off what I've heard from attys) econ and philosophy are probably the two majors that best prepare students for LS. I'd thrown in "Classics," but since no one seems to care any longer about our ancient fathers, I guess I'll just leave it out. :P

Just my opinion, anyway.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:08 am

NZA wrote:PoliSigh is probably not a good bet.

Not to flame, but it seems like (nota bene: seems like, not is. I'm a 0L, just going off what I've heard from attys) econ and philosophy are probably the two majors that best prepare students for LS. I'd thrown in "Classics," but since no one seems to care any longer about our ancient fathers, I guess I'll just leave it out. :P

Just my opinion, anyway.


That's right, I don't care about your ancient fathers. :lol:

Sorry, had to.

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glewz
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby glewz » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:08 am

r6_philly wrote:
GATORTIM wrote:no, but law school is a bad idea if you have a computer science degree. i would use the CS and forgo law


You obviously don't realize where CS is going.

DesertFox wrote:Economics probably has enough writing. Even Comp Sci won't hurt you, just take a couple writings classes to stay sharp.


2 of my CS core courses required more writing than my Poli Sci minor add together.



r6 btw, that is probably not typical - at least at UC Berkeley, it PS is muuuuch more writing than CS.

That said, I still agree with some posters in saying that CS or Econ would be a great preparation for law school, especially Econ. I'm pretty sure both majors generally have a higher average LSAT score compared to Poli Sci, if you look at the score avgs compared to college majors. (this data is public)

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:12 am

BTW OP choose whatever you are interested in. CS will give you a fall back position if law school don't pan out for whatever reason. You can have a 3.0 and still get a decent job (with almost no shot at a top law school).

If you are concerned about writing, work on a English minor in business and technical writing. Legal writing is closer to technical writing. I am a 0L but I read enough legal writing/contracts, I actually think I will be better than most LA majors at reading legal writing because it's not boring to me.

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glewz
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby glewz » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:12 am

http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/Ph ... eid=219324

2  Economics  157.4 
..
14  Computer Science  154.0 
..
16  Political Science  153.1 

EDIT: not trying to say that you will get a higher LSAT score because of this; certain majors might attract pools of people that generally are better at the LSAT. Nonetheless, certain majors might give a better analytical preparation for both the LSAT and for law school.
Last edited by glewz on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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NZA
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby NZA » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:15 am

r6_philly wrote:
NZA wrote:PoliSigh is probably not a good bet.

Not to flame, but it seems like (nota bene: seems like, not is. I'm a 0L, just going off what I've heard from attys) econ and philosophy are probably the two majors that best prepare students for LS. I'd thrown in "Classics," but since no one seems to care any longer about our ancient fathers, I guess I'll just leave it out. :P

Just my opinion, anyway.


That's right, I don't care about your ancient fathers. :lol:

Sorry, had to.


Lol, nope...few do these days. O tempora! O mores! ;)

But seriously, OP: philosophy. And though I personally studied continental philosophy (think Heidegger), analytic phil (anal phil, as we called it) would probably be better.

Mathy/sciencey majors like computer stuff, math, etc., give you good logical reasoning skills, I guess, which would be a plus.

Honestly, do what you like. Be sure to take a formal logic course, though. I think that should be a prerequisite.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:16 am

glewz wrote:
r6 btw, that is probably not typical - at least at UC Berkeley, it PS is muuuuch more writing than CS.

That said, I still agree with some posters in saying that CS or Econ would be a great preparation for law school, especially Econ. I'm pretty sure both majors generally have a higher average LSAT score compared to Poli Sci, if you look at the score avgs compared to college majors. (this data is public)


I think it was computer security and software engineering. We had do maybe 2-4 journal reading assignments per week, and write 1 page summary/report for each of the journal article we read. Midterm and final were both research papers (so more reading). Because those 2 topics deals with a lot of changing knowledge and current events, there are a lot of reading/writing.

For the rest of the courses however, there isn't a whole lot. I took a more research/writing intensive route though for my electives.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:16 am

Study what you enjoy which should result in a strong GPA. This is more important for law school admissions than any particular major. While reading, writing & analytical thinking is the best prep for law school, especially if the work is challenging, forcing oneself to study a subject area that is of little interest may result in a low to mediocre GPA leading to few, if any, elite law school acceptances.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:17 am

NZA wrote:Lol, nope...few do these days. O tempora! O mores! ;)

But seriously, OP: philosophy. And though I personally studied continental philosophy (think Heidegger), analytic phil (anal phil, as we called it) would probably be better.

Mathy/sciencey majors like computer stuff, math, etc., give you good logical reasoning skills, I guess, which would be a plus.

Honestly, do what you like. Be sure to take a formal logic course, though. I think that should be a prerequisite.


No I mean we don't have the same ancient fathers... :wink:

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OGR3
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby OGR3 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:20 am

You can sit for the patent bar with a CS degree.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:22 am

OGR3 wrote:You can sit for the patent bar with a CS degree.


Make sure it's ABET accredited.

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Paichka
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby Paichka » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:24 am

You know what major prepares you best for law school? Any major that requires you to learn how to work hard and study efficiently.

Success in law school is 30% grinding, 30% organizational skill, 20% research skill, 10% writing and 10% natural brilliance/luck/what ever your professor ate for breakfast before grading your exam. So, majors which force you to stay up on reading in order to understand concepts, which require you to organize your exam answers logically and coherently, and which require you to be an effective researcher are going to prepare you well. Science majors have the potential to be very successful in law school, because they're used to organizing things logically -- here's my rule, here's my facts, the rule applied to the facts leads to X outcome, therefore X outcome is correct.

This is a bit of an overgeneralization, but I think the biggest weakness with science majors could be the tendency to fail to argue both sides on exams (key to maxing out points) -- the biggest weakness with humanities majors tends to be too-fluffy writing that fails to get to the point quickly enough.

TL;DR answer -- if your major requires you to (A) study; (B) be organized; and (C) effectively research stuff, you're going to be well prepared for law school.

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im_blue
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby im_blue » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:35 pm

r6_philly wrote:
OGR3 wrote:You can sit for the patent bar with a CS degree.


Make sure it's ABET accredited.

Sucks that many top CS programs aren't ABET accredited, such as Stanford, CMU, Caltech, and Cornell.

r6_philly wrote:
GATORTIM wrote:no, but law school is a bad idea if you have a computer science degree. i would use the CS and forgo law


You obviously don't realize where CS is going.

Just curious, where is CS going?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:56 pm

Success in law school is largely due to one's writing skills & intelligence. Work ethic & organizational skills are also significant factors, but one with poor writing skills & below median intelligence is unlikely to do well in law school.

programmerlawyer
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby programmerlawyer » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:19 pm

Just curious, where is CS going?


If you build web-based apps (as opposed to Windows aplications), it's going everywhere. Growth is well above average without a whole lot of risk of outsourcing. It's the future, it pays very well, and there is a shortage of quality developers.

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:10 pm

im_blue wrote:Sucks that many top CS programs aren't ABET accredited, such as Stanford, CMU, Caltech, and Cornell.

I thought patent bar requires accreditation. I distinctively remember reading it. There are ways to get around it by submitting courses taken but if your BS CS is accredited no other action needs to be taken.


r6_philly wrote:
GATORTIM wrote:no, but law school is a bad idea if you have a computer science degree. i would use the CS and forgo law

You obviously don't realize where CS is going.

Just curious, where is CS going?[/quote]

Privacy/security, very legally relevant. Also will have a lot of policy work coming up. It's a great time to port from CS to law if you like the study and practice of law (a lot of CS students don't).

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im_blue
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby im_blue » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:16 pm

r6_philly wrote:
im_blue wrote:Sucks that many top CS programs aren't ABET accredited, such as Stanford, CMU, Caltech, and Cornell.

I thought patent bar requires accreditation. I distinctively remember reading it. There are ways to get around it by submitting courses taken but if your BS CS is accredited no other action needs to be taken.

I think you're correct, which is why it sucks that many top CS programs haven't bothered to get ABET accreditation, since it doesn't matter much for CS jobs.


r6_philly wrote:
im_blue wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
GATORTIM wrote:no, but law school is a bad idea if you have a computer science degree. i would use the CS and forgo law

You obviously don't realize where CS is going.

Just curious, where is CS going?


Privacy/security, very legally relevant. Also will have a lot of policy work coming up. It's a great time to port from CS to law if you like the study and practice of law (a lot of CS students don't).

I think GATORTIM is saying that you can earn a decent salary with just a CS degree. Do you think that will continue to be the case in the future?

r6_philly
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:41 pm

im_blue wrote:I think you're correct, which is why it sucks that many top CS programs haven't bothered to get ABET accreditation, since it doesn't matter much for CS jobs.


I don't think CS students from top programs are likely to get on the law path. I did not try to get into a top program for personal reasons, but my professors who are graduates of those schools think I am "wasting my talents". So I think they groom you to stay in the field.

r6_philly wrote:
im_blue wrote:Privacy/security, very legally relevant. Also will have a lot of policy work coming up. It's a great time to port from CS to law if you like the study and practice of law (a lot of CS students don't).

I think GATORTIM is saying that you can earn a decent salary with just a CS degree. Do you think that will continue to be the case in the future?


According to government and 3rd party labor data, more than half of the fastest growing job sectors involve IT. A CS degree can absolutely get you 90k median and $120-140k 90% salary within 3-5 years post grad. There is like 100% projected job growth or more. I think only health care rival the growth numbers.

However, when I presented a paper at a national information security conference (mostly CS academics) I was told by many that being a lawyer is going to be very very marketable. Also met some government security folks and they said policy area is going to be growing quite a bit too.

So CS to law isn't really far fetched or a mistake. Maybe quite profitable shortly. Especially not a lot of us are making the jump.

rundoxierun
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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby rundoxierun » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:26 pm

Econ can actually go either way. It can be either math heavy or reading/writing heavy depending on your school and the way you set it up. These days, many schools have both a BA and a BS econ major with the BS requiring calc and basic accounting and stuff while the BA doesnt(although your course selection may be limited if you dont take calc). Personally, I took more math heavy classes than most people in the BA program and I only took about 3-4 somewhat math heavy courses. Even still, the only calc I really used was some profit maximization stuff using rates of change, taking derivatives for different things, and a few things regarding building better models in econometrics. Overall, I honestly dont even know how to do much calc anymore(not that I knew a huge amount in the first place). Of course, I didnt go to MIT or Caltech.

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Re: Computer Science or Economics bad prep for law school?

Postby SpiteFence » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:47 am

tkgrrett wrote:Econ can actually go either way. It can be either math heavy or reading/writing heavy depending on your school and the way you set it up. These days, many schools have both a BA and a BS econ major with the BS requiring calc and basic accounting and stuff while the BA doesnt(although your course selection may be limited if you dont take calc). Personally, I took more math heavy classes than most people in the BA program and I only took about 3-4 somewhat math heavy courses. Even still, the only calc I really used was some profit maximization stuff using rates of change, taking derivatives for different things, and a few things regarding building better models in econometrics. Overall, I honestly dont even know how to do much calc anymore(not that I knew a huge amount in the first place). Of course, I didnt go to MIT or Caltech.


A lot of schools have a B.B.A. in econ too, which imo offers a nice balance.




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