Undergrad Major

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XxMVPxX
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Undergrad Major

Postby XxMVPxX » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:26 am

Hi guys, I've lurked here for a few months as a Junior in college but I finally decided to make an account and join the discussion with a quick question. I've always wanted to be a lawyer and go to law school as far back as I can remember, so when starting college I decided I'd go a different route than most pre-law students by being a business major (business management more specifically) to set myself apart from the poly-sci or philosophy majors when applying to law schools. Now I know wikipedia isn't the best source of information but the 3rd paragraph in this link was pretty surprising to me. None of the top 5 majors for students entering law school were related to business in any way. I have taken a decent amount of writing courses (philosophy, ethics, etc.) and done great in them with a 97 on my final paper and A's in the classes. Am I making something out of nothing here, or was going with a business major not the right call? Thanks a lot for your help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-law

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bk1
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby bk1 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:28 am

Your major isn't going to matter at all.

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Crowing
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby Crowing » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:29 am

Pick the major that is going to facilitate you getting the best grades possible. If I could go back to my freshman year of undergrad I would've only pursued one major and taken 12 hours every semester.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:33 am

XxMVPxX wrote:Hi guys, I've lurked here for a few months as a Junior in college but I finally decided to make an account and join the discussion with a quick question. I've always wanted to be a lawyer and go to law school as far back as I can remember, so when starting college I decided I'd go a different route than most pre-law students by being a business major (business management more specifically) to set myself apart from the poly-sci or philosophy majors when applying to law schools. Now I know wikipedia isn't the best source of information but the 3rd paragraph in this link was pretty surprising to me. None of the top 5 majors for students entering law school were related to business in any way. I have taken a decent amount of writing courses (philosophy, ethics, etc.) and done great in them with a 97 on my final paper and A's in the classes. Am I making something out of nothing here, or was going with a business major not the right call? Thanks a lot for your help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-law
The acceptance rate of certain majors doesn't have so much to do with the major preparing the student, as with the fact that smarter people major in math/science/engineering and smarter people also get higher LSAT scores.
Philosophy is a possible exception, because it actually does teach the formal logic that the LSAT uses. A smart person won't be hurt by majoring in the "wrong" thing, at least with respect to LS admissions.

When choosing a major, you should consider:
1. What you can get close to a 4.0 in.
2. What could get you a post-college job if you end up not going to law school for whatever reason.
(unfortunately, these are frequently mutually exclusive!)

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hoos89
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:04 am

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Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby XxMVPxX » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:49 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
When choosing a major, you should consider:
1. What you can get close to a 4.0 in.
2. What could get you a post-college job if you end up not going to law school for whatever reason.
(unfortunately, these are frequently mutually exclusive!)


The reason I chose business is because I was under the assumption that law schools would look favorably on someone who challenged them self with a tougher major as opposed to just being a psychology major. If someone has a 3.5 in business (which requires calculus, stat 1 & 2, accounting 1 & 2, etc.) is that akin to someone having like a 3.7 in psychology?

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drmguy
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby drmguy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:51 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
When choosing a major, you should consider:
1. What you can get close to a 4.0 in.
2. What could get you a post-college job if you end up not going to law school for whatever reason.
(unfortunately, these are frequently mutually exclusive!)


The reason I chose business is because I was under the assumption that law schools would look favorably on someone who challenged them self with a tougher major as opposed to just being a psychology major. If someone has a 3.5 in business (which requires calculus, stat 1 & 2, accounting 1 & 2, etc.) is that akin to someone having like a 3.7 in psychology?


That would matter if they actually cared about anything other than the GPA number that will go towards their ranking.

Edited-They don't

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rinkrat19
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:00 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
When choosing a major, you should consider:
1. What you can get close to a 4.0 in.
2. What could get you a post-college job if you end up not going to law school for whatever reason.
(unfortunately, these are frequently mutually exclusive!)


The reason I chose business is because I was under the assumption that law schools would look favorably on someone who challenged them self with a tougher major as opposed to just being a psychology major. If someone has a 3.5 in business (which requires calculus, stat 1 & 2, accounting 1 & 2, etc.) is that akin to someone having like a 3.7 in psychology?
Since when is business a tough major? Average difficulty, I'd say.

Business might be useful for getting a job if law school doesn't work out, but it's not going to give you any kind of boost in admissions. Even engineers don't really get one, except for IP hiring.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby XxMVPxX » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:08 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Since when is business a tough major? Average difficulty, I'd say.

Business might be useful for getting a job if law school doesn't work out, but it's not going to give you any kind of boost in admissions. Even engineers don't really get one, except for IP hiring.


I don't know how badly you want to go to law school but do you at all regret choosing a tougher major that might negate you from being able to get in to certain law schools when you would've had a better shot if you had chosen an easier major and got a higher GPA?

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chem
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby chem » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:14 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Since when is business a tough major? Average difficulty, I'd say.

Business might be useful for getting a job if law school doesn't work out, but it's not going to give you any kind of boost in admissions. Even engineers don't really get one, except for IP hiring.


I don't know how badly you want to go to law school but do you at all regret choosing a tougher major that might negate you from being able to get in to certain law schools when you would've had a better shot if you had chosen an easier major and got a higher GPA?


Not at all, and I imagine the same for rinkrat. We both did engineering undergrad, and engineering uniquely prepares us for intellectual property law, specifically patents. It gives us some wiggle room ITE, and a fairly good shot at having a good job if law doesnt work out at all. Major isn't usually a boost to admissions, but engineering with work experience is almost, almost, a silver bullet.

Also, I think my engineering, hard science, hard science triple major got me a UVA RD admit instead of a waitlist.

EDIT: Also going to add that I feel a GPA around a 4.0 is a damn hard accomplishment no matter what the major. I think I'd have probably ended up with around the same GPA no matter my course of study.
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby cinephile » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:19 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Since when is business a tough major? Average difficulty, I'd say.

Business might be useful for getting a job if law school doesn't work out, but it's not going to give you any kind of boost in admissions. Even engineers don't really get one, except for IP hiring.


I don't know how badly you want to go to law school but do you at all regret choosing a tougher major that might negate you from being able to get in to certain law schools when you would've had a better shot if you had chosen an easier major and got a higher GPA?


Everyone should study something that allows them to pursue options other than just law school. Besides, the LSAT weighs more heavily anyway.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:21 pm

chem wrote:
XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Since when is business a tough major? Average difficulty, I'd say.

Business might be useful for getting a job if law school doesn't work out, but it's not going to give you any kind of boost in admissions. Even engineers don't really get one, except for IP hiring.


I don't know how badly you want to go to law school but do you at all regret choosing a tougher major that might negate you from being able to get in to certain law schools when you would've had a better shot if you had chosen an easier major and got a higher GPA?


Not at all, and I imagine the same for rinkrat. We both did engineering undergrad, and engineering uniquely prepares us for intellectual property law, specifically patents. It gives us some wiggle room ITE, and a fairly good shot at having a good job if law doesnt work out at all. Major isn't usually a boost to admissions, but engineering with work experience is almost, almost, a silver bullet.

Also, I think my engineering, hard science, hard science triple major got me a UVA RD admit instead of a waitlist.
Same for me, although I am almost 10 years out of UG, so not only is my engineering degree useful for law school purposes (I'm gearing up to study to take the patent bar before fall), it has supported me for the last 9+ years. I took a lot of elective writing, so I don't feel like my engineering degree handicapped me in that area, and I do feel like it has made me a more capable human being in terms of not being baffled when faced by two-digit numbers and scary things like angle measurements. (It sounds funny, but the mathematic illiteracy of the average American is terrifying.)

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby 20130312 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:23 pm

Business is not nearly as tough as, let's say, engineering, but at my school it was certainly considered a credit-intensive major.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby XxMVPxX » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Do you guys think the admissions office will take note of my grades in the writing heavy courses like ethics, philosophy, etc. or should I make special note of it in the various essays when applying?

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby 20130312 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:31 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:Do you guys think the admissions office will take note of my grades in the writing heavy courses like ethics, philosophy, etc. or should I make special note of it in the various essays when applying?


They'll have your transcript, you don't need to note it. They will only care about your cum. GPA anyway.

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby DonnaDraper » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:00 pm

From what I have observed this cycle, a GPA is kind of a wash if it is in the 3.3-3.7 range. If it is below 3.3, it will hurt you. If it is above a 3.8, it will help you get above the GPA median at some top schools and therefore you could still have a shot with a mediocre LSAT. A good GPA will matter if 1. You want HYS 2. It will give some wiggle room on your LSAT score. 3. You need scholly $$. I feel like if you are in the 3.3-3.7 range, which is likely to happen for anyone, and you manage a good LSAT, person with a harder major and/or multiple majors and/or good undergrad gets the tie breaker. A good GPA is also pretty much useless if you can't at least get a 163 (as a non-URM). So forget your potential regrets regarding your major, study hard, and nail the LSAT.

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:05 pm

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:07 pm

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby DonnaDraper » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:48 pm

hoos89 wrote:
DonnaDraper wrote:From what I have observed this cycle, a GPA is kind of a wash if it is in the 3.3-3.7 range. If it is below 3.3, it will hurt you. If it is above a 3.8, it will help you get above the GPA median at some top schools and therefore you could still have a shot with a mediocre LSAT. A good GPA will matter if 1. You want HYS 2. It will give some wiggle room on your LSAT score. 3. You need scholly $$. I feel like if you are in the 3.3-3.7 range, which is likely to happen for anyone, and you manage a good LSAT, person with a harder major and/or multiple majors and/or good undergrad gets the tie breaker. A good GPA is also pretty much useless if you can't at least get a 163 (as a non-URM). So forget your potential regrets regarding your major, study hard, and nail the LSAT.



This is just not true. 3.7 made up major >>>> 3.3 major in physics. And it's not even close. 3.3 puts you below the 25th at most of the T1, while 3.7 only HYS have higher 25ths.


Sooo maybe I exaggerated a little with 3.7 and am biased with my personal experience :-) I said that because I think that to have a chance, a person should have at least one median stat. I feel like t-14 gpa medians are 3.8 (higher at hys?) but then again I don't know exactly just pulling it out from vague memory.

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby hoos89 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:52 pm

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XxMVPxX
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby XxMVPxX » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks for the help guys, the reason I even asked this was because I'm planning on applying to an Ivy League law school next cycle and I'm just trying to see what my chances are. I figure if I can graduate with a 3.5 (hopefully LSAC doesn't lower it below a 3.4) and get a 170 or better on the LSAT that I could apply ED and have a decent shot. I also have a cousin who recently graduated from there (undergrad not law school) and I'm thinking about how I can work that into one of the essays because I figure it can only help that a member of my family is an alum.

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:56 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:Thanks for the help guys, the reason I even asked this was because I'm planning on applying to an Ivy League law school next cycle and I'm just trying to see what my chances are. I figure if I can graduate with a 3.5 (hopefully LSAC doesn't lower it below a 3.4) and get a 170 or better on the LSAT that I could apply ED and have a decent shot. I also have a cousin who recently graduated from there (undergrad not law school) and I'm thinking about how I can work that into one of the essays because I figure it can only help that a member of my family is an alum.
"Ivy League" means nothing in law school. There are several Ivies in the T14, but they are not identified as such.

Being a legacy won't help unless your family name is on a building on campus.

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XxMVPxX
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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby XxMVPxX » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:02 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:"Ivy League" means nothing in law school. There are several Ivies in the T14, but they are not identified as such.


I'm not quite hip to all the lingo in here but duly noted. Do you think mentioning a relative whose an alum would come off as try-hard or desperate, and if so, is there any other way of letting them know? I don't want to leave any stones unturned when applying.

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:08 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:"Ivy League" means nothing in law school. There are several Ivies in the T14, but they are not identified as such.


I'm not quite hip to all the lingo in here but duly noted. Do you think mentioning a relative whose an alum would come off as try-hard or desperate, and if so, is there any other way of letting them know? I don't want to leave any stones unturned when applying.
There's usually a line on the application that asks if any family members attended.

You could put it in a 'Why X' supplemental essay, but the fact that Uncle Bob went there had better not be your biggest/only reason for going. It's really not a very compelling reason. I wouldn't put it in a personal statement.

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Re: Undergrad Major

Postby Kikero » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:15 pm

XxMVPxX wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:"Ivy League" means nothing in law school. There are several Ivies in the T14, but they are not identified as such.


I'm not quite hip to all the lingo in here but duly noted. Do you think mentioning a relative whose an alum would come off as try-hard or desperate, and if so, is there any other way of letting them know? I don't want to leave any stones unturned when applying.


Most applications actually ask if you have a relative that attended, although I believe it is only for relatives who attended the law school and not just the university in general. I would guess if an application asks "Have any of your relatives graduated from X Law School?" and you check no, then writing about how one of your relatives attended X University probably won't help.

Edit: Rinkrat y u poast faster than m3?




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