Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

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Azelais

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Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby Azelais » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:51 am

Hi all,

I just finished my first year of college at a top 5 university. I have a week with nothing to do before I start interning in a hospital because I'm a pre-med. I decided to take a practice LSAT for fun because throughout high school and the very beginning of college I was considering law school, plus, I think the LSAT is fun (I love critical reading and logic questions). I took the June 2007 version of the LSAT under timed conditions and got a 160. I've never taken any logic or law courses or anything. I only looked at the writing sample, but the topic seems right up my alley, I did speech and debate in high school and know what arguments I'd make.

I'm scared that I got a 160 because I'm afraid I'm making the wrong choice by being pre-med. After shadowing doctors earlier this year, I could really see myself as a doctor. Unfortunately, I'm not good in the sciences and struggle to pull B's, yet I easily get A's in writing (and literally just any non-science) classes. I can only imagine how I would perform on the LSAT being older and having studied for the 3 months (7-9 hrs/day) I intend to study for the MCAT.

I love law, but I also love medicine. I clearly have much more aptitude for getting into law school, but I know the job market for lawyers isn't good and I am attracted to the stability of being a doctor. I've sacrificed a lot to be premed; I devote so much time to studying during the school year that I rarely go out, and this summer I'm working Monday-Thurs from 9-5 on top of learning the material for a year-long physics course in one summer. The pre-med lifestyle is miserable, but I guess all pre-meds have to endure something similar to achieve the end goal of an MD degree. I think the difference is that pre-meds pulling A's are probably a lot happier than I am, because while I used to like science, getting B's is making me hate it and feel bitter that I just *can't* understand some concepts, no matter how hard I try.

Is it advisable to continue on the pre-med path and use law as a "Plan B" if I don't get into med school? But I guess then I would also have to study for the LSAT, which might spread me too thin. My current GPA is a 3.55, but it's on an upward trend. It would be a 4.0 without science classes. Also, I plan on being a bio major and I know law schools look at major GPA. I would only want to give up pre-med and go for law if there was a good chance I could get into a T10, but I suppose there's no way to know.

Does anyone have any thoughts on my situation? What questions should I be asking myself? Apologies for if this is in the wrong section, this is my first time posting.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby NYSprague » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:00 am

I skimmed the above.

Here is a short answer: law and medicine are very different jobs. Figure out where you will be happier. I worked at a hospital for a year before I went to law school and I learned that I hated almost everything about it. I got to the point where I felt the hospital was a prison. My friends who were suited to be doctors loved being at the hospital, the work and just got more excited about medicine.

Be careful too. It is hard to be in both worlds. Now that I'm in law, I don't meet new people who are in medicine or health, outside of my own doctors. That should be part of the equation here.

Don't worry yet about the exam deciding. You decide first which profession suits you best. Both the MCAT and the LSAT are learnable exams.

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RCSOB657

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby RCSOB657 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:37 am

You been around a dead body yet? Go hang around one, see if you can deal with it.

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MidwestLifer

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby MidwestLifer » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:44 am

You go to a Top 5 university? Forget med school, forget law school, hop on the finance/consulting train and stack that paper at a younger age. Don't pursue more education if it's not necessary, you have plenty of "doors" open to you already.

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Clyde Frog

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby Clyde Frog » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:46 am

RCSOB657 wrote:You been around a dead body yet? Go hang around one, see if you can deal with it.


Law firms are full of dead bodies

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RCSOB657

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby RCSOB657 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:53 am

Clyde Frog wrote:
RCSOB657 wrote:You been around a dead body yet? Go hang around one, see if you can deal with it.


Law firms are full of dead bodies



I don't mean Grandma passing in her sleep. GSW to the face, deep/long lacerations to body, dismemberment, floaters, etc. Granted, some see it more than others but you should be comfortable with the effects of death, both physical and psychological, if you want to practice medicine. It honestly sounds like OP doesn't know what he/she wants to do with their lives yet, which is okay.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby At the Drive-In » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:13 am

Wise words have been bounced around this board before - If you aren't sure you want to be a lawyer, don't go to law school.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:45 am

Ignore both the sunk cost of time spent pursuing pre-med and the natural aptitude for the LSAT. These are not factors on which it is rational to base this particular decision. Go for the job that will make you the happiest. Do some research/observation on the day-to-day of each job if possible.

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PDaddy

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby PDaddy » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:04 am

You could do both (with med school first), or do neither and do something else. But I would caution you that aptitude for a particular career track isn't the sole factor one should consider. I think you are taking some great steps, and I encourage you to do more of it. Explore business school...take a practice GMAT and see how that goes. Take your time with this.

The legal field sucks right now, but it may not suck for you, especially if you wind up with 176/3.9 and your choice of HYS.

Law school adcoms give a slight break to applicants with difficult majors; hence a 3.2 in biology looks better than a 3.6 in a social science, especially coming from your school. So it's a question of balance. You should pick a challenging major that prepares you for graduate school, but pick one in which you are truly interested. Studying biology is a great choice for you because it prepares you for medical school as well as law school.

One other big plus is that your science major will open the door to IP/Patent law if you choose to go in that direction. The B-schools will be impressed as well, as long as you take the tough quantitative courses that are built into your science major. If you believe that you can achieve at least a 3.2 major GPA in biology don't change it.

You may decide that you want to go to B-school with the intent of working in the pharmaceutical industry, which might allow you to employ science, business and legal backgrounds all at once! Think outside of the box...write your own script, but cover your bases. There are compliance jobs within the medical industry, specialty big-law firms heavy in pharmaceutical clientele, government agencies like the FDA, etc.. Lots of doors are open to you.

Of course, if you just want to go into business and make a lot of money as an investment banker, that door is open as well.

You have time. Just be sure to keep your options open. In the end you should do what makes you happy.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby brazleton » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:40 am

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glitched

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby glitched » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:53 am

Regardless, you should focus on getting that GPA up and then you can decide in a few years. Who knows what's gonna happen by the time you start applying? Maybe Obamacare will screw things up for doctor salaries/work life. But with a 3.0 BCPM gpa, you're not going to med school. With a 3.5 overall gpa, you probably shouldn't go to law school (above poster about gpa boost is wrong. Unless admissions might have really changed in the last 3 years which is possible).

MidwestLifer wrote:You go to a Top 5 university? Forget med school, forget law school, hop on the finance/consulting train and stack that paper at a younger age. Don't pursue more education if it's not necessary, you have plenty of "doors" open to you already.


This is so true. PE guys get paid bank working 40 hours a week. If I could go back and do it all again, I would do EE/CS and go into finance.

For what it's worth, I graduated with a cell bio degree with a competitive gpa, and decided to go to law school instead of med school. PM me if you want to talk more about it.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby CincinnatusND » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:23 pm

"I scored a 160 diagnostic on the LSAT" is the absolute worst reason to think about going to law school. Figure out which you'd rather do and plan accordingly. A 160 diagnostic isn't especially amazing either. Sure, you might improve into the 170's range with a few months of study, or you might not, so I wouldn't count on your LSAT abilities as some major opportunity cost.

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RZ5646

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby RZ5646 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:22 pm

If the choice is between med school and law school, you need to decide soon because premed will wreck your GPA, putting most top law schools out of reach. The poster above is wrong: law schools don't care about the rigor of your school or major, just your numerical GPA. The guy with a 3.5 in communications from No Name State U will beat your 3.1 in biochemistry from a top 5 school.

Relatedly, I'll echo other posters' suggestion to look into finance. What makes law school attractive to a lot of people (including me) is that your background doesn't matter. If you're smart and work hard to beat a school's GPA and LSAT medians, you can go from from a low-ranked college to a top law school, no questions asked. This is a second chance for those of us who were lazy in high school or had low income, uneducated, or uninvolved parents. You, on the other hand, have a pedigree. You should exploit that to secure a high paying career in an industry that cares about undergrad prestige. Finance is one of those industries. Furthermore, I'd guess that you don't have a passion for medicine or law, and instead simply want a prestigious, lucrative, somewhat intellectual career. Finance checks all those boxes. Go for it.

Also, as other people said, 160 isn't really that high. It's a good starting point, and you'll probably be able to raise that to the 170s and get into a top law school as long as you don't sink your GPA, but it's not like the dean of HLS is going to call you up tomorrow and auto-admit you 2 years early because you're a legal genius.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby copingtrope » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:26 pm

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Azelais

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby Azelais » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:41 pm

Great, thanks for the feedback, everyone! I didn't expect to get so many responses!

Many of you have said that I should make sure medicine is really what I want to do- though I've been exposed a little to medicine already, I think this summer will really help me decide. I'm working 30 hrs/wk at a hospital, interacting directly with patients, and I think I'll have the opportunity to see lots of different aspects of medicine.

Okay, as far as finance goes, part of the reason why I wasn't interested in it (as well as law) is because it seems like you need a certain personality type to do well...such as being an "alpha male." I'm a female, not particularly aggressive, and I just can't picture myself in that world. Medicine seems to be a lot kinder to women than law or especially finance. Also, to do finance, don't you need to take econ classes or something? Econ is absolutely brutal at my school. (But I know you can major in pretty much anything for law)

Of course a 160 isn't amazing, but it seems like a good start. I genuinely felt like I could improve quite a bit. I know writing skills are important for law, and I love writing and have done very well in it. Unfortunately I don't know much about what it's actually like to be a lawyer, having never shadowed one before.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby RZ5646 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:05 pm

Gender shouldn't really be a factor in choosing between these careers. Personality fit might be worth considering to some extent, but there are plenty of introverts in law (btw, the average lawyer sits at a desk all day reading and writing). Finance does have an alpha male / frat bro stereotype, but I'm not sure how true that is.

Here is the takeaway: If you raise your GPA (3.7+), you could probably attend a T14 law school. But first you need to decide if you want to be a lawyer. I wouldn't change my career plans just because I took a test that said I'd be in the top X percent of ditch diggers or veterinarians.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby NorCalLaw » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:03 am

PDaddy wrote:
Law school adcoms give a slight break to applicants with difficult majors; hence a 3.2 in biology looks better than a 3.6 in a social science, especially coming from your school. So it's a question of balance. You should pick a challenging major that prepares you for graduate school, but pick one in which you are truly interested. Studying biology is a great choice for you because it prepares you for medical school as well as law school.

One other big plus is that your science major will open the door to IP/Patent law if you choose to go in that direction. The B-schools will be impressed as well, as long as you take the tough quantitative courses that are built into your science major. If you believe that you can achieve at least a 3.2 major GPA in biology don't change it.


This is wrong. Ochem grades will wreck your chance at a top law school and absolutely no one is impressed by a biology undergrad degree. It has zero value for patent law as well.

If OP wants to go to law school he should switch his major immediately and stack the fluff A's to the ceiling. He probably shouldn't go, though. Being a lawyer is not for most people. Being a doctor is not for most people, but if you get into med school you will at least get a good job. There are other options that don't require mortgaging your very self for decades to come--I suggest OP consider some of those as well.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby AbhiJ » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:31 am

There are far too many careers other than medicine, law and finance. You can get yourself a head start in any of these careers just after your bachelors but you can also make a mistake by restricting yourself to these options. Have you thought about being a Journalist ? What about General Management/Management Consulting ? Just get a feeling that you are not into Maths else Technology can be an exciting field.
Interact with your seniors to get to know more about the different careers available to you.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby silenttimer » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:52 am

MidwestLifer wrote:You go to a Top 5 university? Forget med school, forget law school, hop on the finance/consulting train and stack that paper at a younger age. Don't pursue more education if it's not necessary, you have plenty of "doors" open to you already.


This.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby Clyde Frog » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:15 am

brazleton wrote:
PDaddy wrote:Law school adcoms give a slight break to applicants with difficult majors; hence a 3.2 in biology looks better than a 3.6 in a social science, especially coming from your school.


This is demonstrably false. And the numbers you chose were not a slight difference. Stop lying to OP.


I agree. What the hell are are you talking about? Law schools are concerned with keeping their numbers stable, not giving "breaks."

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby tskela » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:41 pm

OP, if you're pulling Bs in hard science, I think you're doing pretty well. I'd say stick it out. I made a decision when I started undergrad that I would pick a major I could get As in, because I wanted my GPA as high as possible for law school. Now I'm stuck with English and Philosophy. If I could go back and do it differently, I would have chosen something more practical. Become a doctor, nurse, dentist, whatever and enjoy job security.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby longhorn65 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:11 pm

tskela wrote:OP, if you're pulling Bs in hard science, I think you're doing pretty well. I'd say stick it out. I made a decision when I started undergrad that I would pick a major I could get As in, because I wanted my GPA as high as possible for law school. Now I'm stuck with English and Philosophy. If I could go back and do it differently, I would have chosen something more practical. Become a doctor, nurse, dentist, whatever and enjoy job security.

Everyone on these boards discuss job security in regards to law as if is this elusive unpredictable thing. Not to be rude but I honestly dont see law this way. Sure its difficult but I've worked at two law firms and the current one I am at I work closely with the senior partner who is the international defense council for some fortune 500 companies. That being said he knows a lot of lawyers and I generally get to pick the brain of most every law-student/ lawyer he knows and I've reached a conclusion. As long as your not a lazy/weak/unreasonable person and your willing to work hard there will always be jobs for you. A lot of people want to start at the top and thats just not how law works. Law is a stepladder system where you have to work from bottom up. The only limit to your success is your willingness to learn/evolve as a lawyer. That being said it definately is not for everyone but I think this is important when considering what field to pursue. Don't let "job security" scare you from a potentially dream job!

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby NorCalLaw » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:37 pm

luke65 wrote:
tskela wrote:OP, if you're pulling Bs in hard science, I think you're doing pretty well. I'd say stick it out. I made a decision when I started undergrad that I would pick a major I could get As in, because I wanted my GPA as high as possible for law school. Now I'm stuck with English and Philosophy. If I could go back and do it differently, I would have chosen something more practical. Become a doctor, nurse, dentist, whatever and enjoy job security.

Everyone on these boards discuss job security in regards to law as if is this elusive unpredictable thing. Not to be rude but I honestly dont see law this way. Sure its difficult but I've worked at two law firms and the current one I am at I work closely with the senior partner who is the international defense council for some fortune 500 companies. That being said he knows a lot of lawyers and I generally get to pick the brain of most every law-student/ lawyer he knows and I've reached a conclusion. As long as your not a lazy/weak/unreasonable person and your willing to work hard there will always be jobs for you. A lot of people want to start at the top and thats just not how law works. Law is a stepladder system where you have to work from bottom up. The only limit to your success is your willingness to learn/evolve as a lawyer. That being said it definately is not for everyone but I think this is important when considering what field to pursue. Don't let "job security" scare you from a potentially dream job!


What the fuck. Please don't propagate once-true anecdotes from the golden era as the present reality. It's highly misleading. Lots of people want to start at the fucking BOTTOM and can't find a single job. Do you think 40% of law students are just too lazy? That's borderline "Just World" thinking. It's an awful fallacy. Plenty of people do everything right and don't get anything. Honestly, unless this is some sort of elaborate joke, you should stop trying to give people advice.

"Pick the brain" of a few lawyers under age 30, for starters.

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Re: Got a 160 on LSAT diagnostic but not going to law school

Postby longhorn65 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:08 am

NorCalLaw wrote:
luke65 wrote:
tskela wrote:OP, if you're pulling Bs in hard science, I think you're doing pretty well. I'd say stick it out. I made a decision when I started undergrad that I would pick a major I could get As in, because I wanted my GPA as high as possible for law school. Now I'm stuck with English and Philosophy. If I could go back and do it differently, I would have chosen something more practical. Become a doctor, nurse, dentist, whatever and enjoy job security.

Everyone on these boards discuss job security in regards to law as if is this elusive unpredictable thing. Not to be rude but I honestly dont see law this way. Sure its difficult but I've worked at two law firms and the current one I am at I work closely with the senior partner who is the international defense council for some fortune 500 companies. That being said he knows a lot of lawyers and I generally get to pick the brain of most every law-student/ lawyer he knows and I've reached a conclusion. As long as your not a lazy/weak/unreasonable person and your willing to work hard there will always be jobs for you. A lot of people want to start at the top and thats just not how law works. Law is a stepladder system where you have to work from bottom up. The only limit to your success is your willingness to learn/evolve as a lawyer. That being said it definately is not for everyone but I think this is important when considering what field to pursue. Don't let "job security" scare you from a potentially dream job!


What the fuck. Please don't propagate once-true anecdotes from the golden era as the present reality. It's highly misleading. Lots of people want to start at the fucking BOTTOM and can't find a single job. Do you think 40% of law students are just too lazy? That's borderline "Just World" thinking. It's an awful fallacy. Plenty of people do everything right and don't get anything. Honestly, unless this is some sort of elaborate joke, you should stop trying to give people advice.

"Pick the brain" of a few lawyers under age 30, for starters.

1. Your way out of line and need to real your atrocious attitude in a bit considering I was only offering the information I have
2. Don't be a dick
3. Don't be an ass
4. All the lawyers I talked with were between the age of 27 and 40

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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