Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
Bangalmafia
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:47 pm

Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby Bangalmafia » Sun May 01, 2011 8:54 pm

Hey guys,

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts/experience on the subject....

I'm an engineering student about to graduate to start work with a tech consulting company. I was hoping to work for the company a few years to save up cash before applying to law school. Here's the thing, I have no interest in heading into IP.... I am mainly interested in focusing on criminal litigation or civil liberties.

Would I be taken seriously as an applicant to law schools or as a hire upon graduation?

I can't help but think, I am getting further from my goals with the job move... but really I don't want to apply for law school straight out of college. The consulting was a nice way to get paid to take time off.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:17 pm

I don't know about hiring, but engineers do fine in the LS application process. Engineering majors have one of the highest LSAT averages. You may want to frame your personal statement in such a way as to explain why you're leaving a perfectly good field to go to law school, but that's not hard, and certainly not uncommon.

A degree in engineering won't make up for a bad GPA, but adcomms do recognize that your undergrad degree was probably harder than average. When compared with a sociology or art history major with an identical GPA and otherwise equivalent qualifications, you may get the nod.

Work experience after undergrad is not a minus, and can be a fairly decent plus, especially if you're applying to Northwestern, where it's practically required.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 01, 2011 9:21 pm

Yes. You have a difficult major and will have solid work experience. If the numbers are strong, you should be in great shape

User avatar
Bangalmafia
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:47 pm

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby Bangalmafia » Tue May 03, 2011 3:28 am

Thanks a lot for the encouraging words you guys!

Just out of curiosity... has anyone who has already graduated from law school have any thoughts?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 03, 2011 2:40 pm

You should do well assuming that your LSAT score is competitive for the law schools to which you apply. Your applications will be taken seriously due to your work experience & maturity level in addition to completing a challenging undergraduate course of study.

P.S. You do not need to specify an intended specialization when applying to law school.

shonmay
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:34 am

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby shonmay » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:35 am

.

justinp
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby justinp » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:40 am

You don't need to tell them that you want to do criminal defense or whatever. Just say you want to do IP.

As far as getting hired... 'civil liberties' isn't really a field of law that people get to practice, by and large. There are a very few jobs with orgs like the ACLU, but they are INCREDIBLY hard to get (because everyone wants to fight the good fight) and the pay is insulting.

And for criminal defense, the career path is typically DA's office as a prosecutor for a few years to learn the ropes and then switch teams. No one will take you less seriously if you have an engineering background for that.

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Engineer turned Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:48 am

justinp wrote:You don't need to tell them that you want to do criminal defense or whatever. Just say you want to do IP.

As far as getting hired... 'civil liberties' isn't really a field of law that people get to practice, by and large. There are a very few jobs with orgs like the ACLU, but they are INCREDIBLY hard to get (because everyone wants to fight the good fight) and the pay is insulting.

And for criminal defense, the career path is typically DA's office as a prosecutor for a few years to learn the ropes and then switch teams. No one will take you less seriously if you have an engineering background for that.


To add: Criminal defense pays poorly and can be an extremely emotionally tolling job. You should try to investigate things more before making a huge investment of time and money on law school.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest