Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

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Bgibbs
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby Bgibbs » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:55 pm

Stop worrying about your major, which doesn't matter unless you don't go to law school in which case you are screwed, and instead worry about the LSAT, and aim for 170+ instead of 160+.

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westinghouse60
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby westinghouse60 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:39 am

I was "pre-law" but put poli sci instead on my apps since "pre-law" is a concentration in the poli sci degree at my school. See if you can do anything like that OP, but I don't think it will hurt your cycle either way, and it didn't impact mine. Mostly its just a useless degree/waste of time.. god I hated it.

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Ludo!
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby Ludo! » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:52 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:
TDragon wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
TDragon wrote:I'm almost done with my pre law degree and I am going over the application process for law schools. I read that awhile ago (from old sources) that law schools are not a big fan of pre law majors.

How bad will this be for me when I apply to law schools considering that I have a 3.5 GPA and lets say... a 160+ on the LSAT (just thinking ahead).

Will it be a negative for me instead of a positive?

Have any of you had problems or successes when applying to law schools with a pre law degree?

thx.



A 3.5 GPA is solid for most majors. Your major itself is not considered to be one of the stronger ones, but the specific type(s) of courses you have taken is most important when evaluating GPA. Adcoms will pay particular attention to courses involving writing, research and logical/analytical reasoning. The grade trend (either steady or upward is best) is another key factor. The strength of your UG institution can compensate for any perceived weakness in your "course types". If your school is not known for grade inflation, that can work to your advantage.

Other factors include work experience during UG and community service. Any adcom worth its salt will want to give your file a thorough and holistic analysis.

That's a long way of saying that you should not be concerned with your choice of major. More important is that you take a wide breadth of challenging courses and do well in them. Except for to the extent that some majors inherently require students to do more of the aforementioned exercises (i.e. write, research and analyze in-depth), one's "major" per se is unimportant.

If you carefully tailor your course load to address these needs and perform well, you can major in basket-weaving and get into a top school - the caveat being that you need good LOR's, reasonably good softs and a good LSAT score.


Wow solid piece of advice and most of it applies directly to my situation (my grades have gone up the last two years of UG, and work/internship will hopefully factor into a good decision). Hopefully my legal writing/research classes weren't for nothing.


I wouldn't put a lot of stock into that advice. I don't think adcomms have the time to dissect an applicant's transcript beyond a quick glance. Even if they did, it's difficult to tell which classes involve intensive writing anyway. My ConLaw class didn't for example, but I'm sure others who have taken it wrote a good amount.

I also wouldn't worry too too much about grade trends. While they may be useful as an addendum if there was a reason you performed poorly early on, at the end of the day schools get to report one GPA score to the rankings. The bottom line is schools want you to have a high GPA. If you can do that and haven't blatantly tried to take the easiest class possible in every situation, you'll be set.


+1. Never put any stock in Pdaddy advice. It's always weird. Just worry about getting a high LSAT.

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mattviphky
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby mattviphky » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:46 am

just lsat, bro. A 170 will actually make your degree worthwhile

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PDaddy
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:37 am

cutecarmel wrote:It won't put you at a disadvantage, but I think law schools favor applicants with nontraditional majors. A lot of schools like to boast about the undergraduate majors of their students, but a list that only includes, pre-law, poli-sci, and english, would be pretty dull.

So it won't hurt you, but you also won't have a possible "boost" from having a nontraditional major.


Uh...English is actually considered to be a really good major for law school because English majors spend a lot of time close-reading text, and writing and revising essays. Honors English students write 50-page theses that are harshly critiqued by English profs who leave almost no room for even the smallest of errors. Don't lump English with Pre-law, poli-sci and criminal justice, because it's actually a fairly rigorous liberal arts major.

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PDaddy
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:47 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:I wouldn't put a lot of stock into that advice. I don't think adcomms have the time to dissect an applicant's transcript beyond a quick glance. Even if they did, it's difficult to tell which classes involve intensive writing anyway. My ConLaw class didn't for example, but I'm sure others who have taken it wrote a good amount.

I also wouldn't worry too too much about grade trends. While they may be useful as an addendum if there was a reason you performed poorly early on, at the end of the day schools get to report one GPA score to the rankings. The bottom line is schools want you to have a high GPA. If you can do that and haven't blatantly tried to take the easiest class possible in every situation, you'll be set.


-1,000! You are flat-out wrong, and anyone who pays attention to your advice is headed for failure. You have absolutely no evidence to back up your advice, while the prevailing wisdom published just about everywhere contradicts your claims. You are advising applicants that adcoms neither look beyond GPA's to see what courses a student has actually taken nor examine grade trends, when they absolutely do both. As a counselor who has guided students from begining to end (pre-LSAT through orientation weeks) I can say with certainty that you have no idea of what you are talking about.

Your saying that, assuming all else to be equal (i.e. LSAT scores and soft factors), a criminal justice major with an unexplainable, downward grade trend (for a 3.5) at Cal State Fullerton, is the equal of a Biology major with a 3.5 from Brown who has a juystifiable (freshman year death, working full-time during school, etc.), upward grade trend, and that is absolutely ridiculous! Don't...just don't! :roll:

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PDaddy
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:03 am

Ludovico Technique wrote:
+1. Never put any stock in Pdaddy advice. It's always weird. Just worry about getting a high LSAT.



Oh...the following is bad advice, huh?:

That's a long way of saying that you should not be concerned with your choice of major. More important is that you take a wide breadth of challenging courses and do well in them.

I said "more important", NOT "most important". That kills any arguments about the LSAT. I wasn't discussing the LSAT. I was discussing majors, grades and how adcoms should and do view transcripts and files. I know this from experience.

Isn't that the concensus here? Don't we all agree that major is less important than the strength of the courses? LSAT scores were not discussed, and if they were I would say that a high score can certainly strengthen if not trump a weak major. That's a given.

as far as the rest...PDaddy has helped people get into elite law schools, and his students have been on TLS. You had better pay attention to what I am saying. Do NOT disregard the LSAT by any means, but your major makes a difference within the context of other factors. That is my advice, and there's really no way to refute it. Only a drunk would try...

Notice how Ludovico has no logical argument to disprove what I say. He is committing a classic logical flaw: calling into question the character of the person giving the advice and not the advice itself. Calling my advice "weird" doesn't exactly make you look like you know what you are talking about, son. My advice is sound. I have not disregarded the importance of the LSAT, all I am saying is that your major and the courses you take are important...in context.

You don't know me, and you have no idea how many people I have gotten into the schools you all covet (with a 100% success rate by the way). That's the funny thing. Cowards can say anything from behind a computer screen, but when they meet me at a forum or something (oh yes, I have met some of you offline), it's a different story. They are in awe and completely repentant. I become their best buddy, then.
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:14 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PDaddy
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:05 am

mattviphky wrote:just lsat, bro. A 170 will actually make your degree worthwhile


I actually wouldn't dispute this LSAT advice. It's consistent with the advice I gave. Grades and major matter within the context of the entire file. That is as sound as advice as you will ever get.

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Ludo!
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby Ludo! » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:11 pm

So PDaddy is some kind of prelaw counselor? That explains... so much.

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Nova
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby Nova » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:24 pm

PDaddy wrote:as far as the rest...PDaddy has helped people get into elite law schools, and his students have been on TLS. You had better pay attention to what I am saying.


If you want posters to take you seriously, dont refer to yourself in third person. Weird shit like that is why you get called weird.
Last edited by Nova on Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:52 pm

Nova wrote:
PDaddy wrote:as far as the rest...PDaddy has helped people get into elite law schools, and his students have been on TLS. You had better pay attention to what I am saying.


If you want posters to take you seriously, dont refer to yourself in third person. Wierd shit like that is why you get called wierd.


Yeah seriously :roll: . PDaddy is overstating the importance of these factors. They matter somewhat, but you have to get your foot in the door in the first place for an adcomm to even look at them, and you do that with your LSAT/GPA scores. Look on any school's LSN profile. With very few exceptions, you will be able to identify a sort of upside down "L" where they have cutoffs for LSAT and GPA. Give me 3 points on the LSAT any day over a "rigorous looking transcript" or an increasing GPA trend.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:59 pm

Pre-law/legal studies & similiar majors probably won't affect your chances of admission since US News rankings depend primarily upon matriculated students' GPA & LSAT score. About 20 to 25 years ago, many law schools discouraged prospective applicants from taking any business law courses because they tended to teach law as a discipline with a high degree of certainty (memorization rather than in-depth analysis). This was followed by the creation of paralegal courses, certificates & degrees that tended to teach law as a clear-cut discipline. Today, pre-law tends to revolve around courses that require analytical thought & development of sound writing skills.

jim-green
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby jim-green » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Pre-law/legal studies & similiar majors probably won't affect your chances of admission since US News rankings depend primarily upon matriculated students' GPA & LSAT score. About 20 to 25 years ago, many law schools discouraged prospective applicants from taking any business law courses because they tended to teach law as a discipline with a high degree of certainty (memorization rather than in-depth analysis). This was followed by the creation of paralegal courses, certificates & degrees that tended to teach law as a clear-cut discipline. Today, pre-law tends to revolve around courses that require analytical thought & development of sound writing skills.
Yeah, I talked to a student who told me he 'majored in poli sci, econ, phil, which is essentially a pre-law major.'

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aekea
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby aekea » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:26 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:So PDaddy is some kind of prelaw counselor? That explains... so much.

This.

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AreJay711
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:14 pm

PDaddy wrote:
cutecarmel wrote:It won't put you at a disadvantage, but I think law schools favor applicants with nontraditional majors. A lot of schools like to boast about the undergraduate majors of their students, but a list that only includes, pre-law, poli-sci, and english, would be pretty dull.

So it won't hurt you, but you also won't have a possible "boost" from having a nontraditional major.


Uh...English is actually considered to be a really good major for law school because English majors spend a lot of time close-reading text, and writing and revising essays. Honors English students write 50-page theses that are harshly critiqued by English profs who leave almost no room for even the smallest of errors. Don't lump English with Pre-law, poli-sci and criminal justice, because it's actually a fairly rigorous liberal arts major.

:lol: I can't even imagine if I turned in a 50 page idea dump into the assigning attorney. Would they be pissed, incredulous, maybe laugh hysterically? I can't even imagine.

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PaulKriske
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby PaulKriske » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:00 pm

in response to thread title, yes.

i've heard law schools don't like any legal courses at all, because they're probably taught poorly by shitty professors.




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