Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

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SeveC
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Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby SeveC » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:25 pm

Hi. I'm new here, I'm not sure if this is the correct subforum for me to be asking these questions but here it goes. I also surfed Google for a bit and didn't really find anything satisfactory. Anyways:

So I'm an undergrad junior, and I plan on taking the LSAT and going to law school once I graduate next year. I just had a quick question about GPA/ potentially getting a minor. Right now, I'm an English major and I know that's a pretty beneficial major for law school. However, next semester (Fall 2015), I have enough room in my schedule in terms of registering for classes to "play around" a bit. I'm already ahead enough on working towards my main degree that there's no classes offered next semester that I need.

My adviser thinks that picking up a minor might be a good idea since I'll have so much freedom in scheduling my classes next semester but I wasn't sure if that would be the best idea? In terms of admissions, does it look better to have a minor? For example, I was thinking in terms of next semester to just schedule 5 100-level core classes, which given my track record are always without fail easy A's or B+'s. Obviously classes required for a minor are a bit tougher and I can't really guarantee myself getting at least an A or B+ in them (probably a B or B+, maybe an A if I'm lucky)

So that's my dilemma basically. Is is better to spend my last year of undergrad under constant pressure of getting 8 200-300 level classes classes under my belt to acquire a minor (in Political Science or Spanish since I already have dabbled a bit with those in years past) or would it be a better idea to just take a lot of 100 level, kind of superficial classes (like say, Intro to French, Art Appreciation, College Algebra, etc.) in order to up my GPA without fail?

Right now my GPA stands at 3.52, and I don't see it going up or down very significantly at the end of this semester in May.

Thanks!

abl
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby abl » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:33 pm

A minor is only going to have an impact on your career (law school or otherwise) if it's directly relevant to what you want to do. If you want to teach Spanish, having a minor in Spanish could be helpful. Otherwise, it's an incredibly unimportant soft akin to something like being treasurer of your fraternity.

If you're looking solely at getting into the best law school that you can possibly get into, having a minor in Polisci or Spanish will make a very small impact. On the other hand, improving your GPA even a little bit -- say 0.05 points -- could have a significant impact. In particular, if you're able to get your GPA up above 3.6, it could make a big impact on law school admissions.

I don't think that law school admissions are as purely numbers driven as others on this board. But I also think, and suspect folks will agree, that the impact of a minor on your chances will be vanishingly small (especially those minors that you mention).

If it were me, I'd seriously considering using these extra classes to get a better sense of (a) whether there are other non-law careers you might enjoy, and/or (b) what sort of law you might be interested in. Short of that, I'd just take what's the most interesting to you -- you don't get a whole lot of chances in life to just learn for learning's sake, so take advantage of the few that you do. But, if your only priority is maximizing your law school chances, taking the undergrad courses that will have the biggest positive impact on your GPA is TCR.

Finally, if you're interested in taking a class that might actually help in law school, I'd recommend something econ or criminal-justice related. Econ in particular is the subject that I most wish I took more of in undergrad (and stats, but for reasons relatively unique to me). I suspect econ won't be an easy A at your school, so take this for what you will.

BigZuck
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:49 pm

Didn't read the OP (too long) but voted higher GPA.

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Fiero85
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby Fiero85 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:06 pm

Higher GPA all day every day

Minors aren't enough to show fluency in a language and a Poli Sci minor is not worth lower GPA at all.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:02 pm

abl wrote:Short of that, I'd just take what's the most interesting to you -- you don't get a whole lot of chances in life to just learn for learning's sake, so take advantage of the few that you do.


this is the only real answer. oh how I miss it.

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AreJay711
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:50 pm

For those minors? Don't bother. A minor in finance or accounting might be worth it, but I doubt you could pull that off if you don't have the intro courses out of the way.

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Rigo
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby Rigo » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:47 am

3.52 is borderline, so higher GPA is by far the better route.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:59 am

A minor in Spanish can help when applying for work--especially as a public defender.

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chuckbass
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:04 am

CanadianWolf wrote:A minor in Spanish can help when applying for work--especially as a public defender.

A couple semesters of Spanish isn't gonna make OP more useful in that capacity

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prodigal.daughter
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby prodigal.daughter » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:33 am

With that GPA, I'd definitely vote toward increasing GPA and taking easier questions.

CanadianWolf wrote:A minor in Spanish can help when applying for work--especially as a public defender.


Being fluent in Spanish can help a lot more than a single line on a diploma. There's no real need to make a minor out of it.

Big Dog
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby Big Dog » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:42 am

with ~3.5 you need A's, not B+'s (or worse).

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby MarkfromWI » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:51 am

Coming from someone who doesn't have a minor, if your aim is solely to improve chances of admission, take the classes that will help your GPA the most.

There is something to be said though for taking classes that interest you, though...

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby gnomgnomuch » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:24 am

Just gonna point out that an English major is NOT good for law school.... there are very few majors or minors that are actually GOOD for Law School, if any. For law school you pick the major that will net you the highest GPA possible.

However, bear in mind that an English major is more or less useless...so it might actually be helpful for you in terms of getting a job out of college to pick up an economics, stats or math minor. I'm graduating in may with a quantitative poli sci major - micro, financial calc 1 and 2, SPSS - and two minors and hate myself for picking up the second minor. If I could go back in time, I'd take stats and macro and then take micro/macro intermediate and then 1 class for whatever I want, instead of the 5 classes I took for a minor is business communication. If you have time in your schedule to allow for a tougher class, but one that's actually useful, you should think long and hard about taking it, unless you're a 10000000% set on law school and nothing will ever possibly change your mind. (if you're like that, reconsider it anyway, the market sucks, LS will always be there and I was in your shoes 2 years ago and pushed law school up a few years so I can get a masters and some experience.)

Just my 2 cents, my GPA is prob higher now than what it would have been if I did the econ/stats courses but I'm now going to grad school for public policy and then going to do law school a few years down the line, whereas my original plan was to be a K-JD.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:28 am

English is a solid major for law school. A prestigious firm I worked at a long time ago hired folks with degrees in English--both masters & bachelors--to review/proofread all attorney work product documents.

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chuckbass
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby chuckbass » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:29 am

Fwiw the most useful class I took in college was a basic computer class where I learned how to use photoshop. Easy A plus I still use that basic photoshop ability fairly regularly.

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby gnomgnomuch » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:42 am

CanadianWolf wrote:English is a solid major for law school. A prestigious firm I worked at a long time ago hired folks with degrees in English--both masters & bachelors--to review/proofread all attorney work product documents.



Sure, if the objective is to possibly get work proofreading/reviewing law documents..... but you can't honestly tell me that having an English degree (even from Harvard) makes you super employable. Plus, I doubt those kind of jobs are plentiful nowadays anyway.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:02 am

Any major is a solid major for law school.

Higher GPA OP. From an admissions perspective having a minor will mean literally nothing, while a higher gpa could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars

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KMart
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby KMart » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:04 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Higher GPA OP. From an admissions perspective having a minor will mean literally nothing, while a higher gpa could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars

Take the easiest classes you can. Rate my professors is your friend.

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Ron Mexico
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby Ron Mexico » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:05 am

minors are completely meaningless

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jbagelboy
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:52 am

Ron Mexico wrote:minors are completely meaningless


*shrug*. As with everything, depends on what you want to do, right? If you're interested in something and you want an in depth study in it, completing a minor isn't a bad default. If you want to signal to an employer that you have quantitative skills but you're a humanities major, adding an economics or math minor can't hurt. If you want to work or teach abroad in the private sector or government and language skills are suggested for the position, having a minor in a desirable language for the region can't hurt either. For law school, sure it's meaningless, with the one exception being a STEM minor that provides sufficient credits to complete your patent bar eligibility.

Broncos15
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Re: Acquiring a Minor vs. Higher GPA

Postby Broncos15 » Sat May 09, 2015 3:43 am

OP

Advice from a guy with a similar GPA

Take the higher GPA......Don't listen to anyone who says you can't raise your GPA much your senior year. I entered this semester with your GPA, I can finish this one with a 3.6 ( fingers crossed) ....and then graduate in Dec within the 3.6-3.7 range

The 3.6-3.7 range will open a lot more doors for you




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