Law School Prospect

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
Logan_LE

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Law School Prospect

Postby Logan_LE » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:07 am

Hey guys I posted on here last year as a junior in High school and I basically was told to shutup and focus on high school. Probably deserved it lol. Anyways, I am a senior this year and I like to believe that I am on track. I got accepted into my college and I am majoring in Pre-Law and Minoring in business. I am currently a law clerk at an insurance defense firm and everything is going really well. I have attended Depositions, mediations, and hearings with my firm and even attended some on the plaintiff's side. I've even constructed a few depo summaries for the attorneys. I am reading a trial objections book and taking notes on it as well as dissecting the civil procedures book. Anyways, I know getting into law school is based off of undergrad GPA and LSAT scores. So what could I do to get further ahead as I enter my last semester as a high school student? Thanks guys and happy Thanksgiving!

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studyingeveryday

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby studyingeveryday » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:32 pm

Okay, well, what you can do right now is just enjoy your last semester of high school. Seriously, I am impressed you are thinking so far ahead, but right now, you truly do have nothing else to do but just enjoy your time in high school.

Now, as for next year, I'm quite sure pre-law isn't a major, but of course I don't know if your school happens to actually offer some sort of pre-law curriculum or whatever. I encourage you to major in what you LIKE and what will give you the best GPA. Seriously. Go major in History or German or Literature or even Chemistry if you're genuinely a science nerd and you're confident you'll get all As (which, just a warning that math and science classes in college are a LOT harder than they are in high school, if you do go that route, whatever you major in it needs to be something giving you a great GPA). If you major in something you like, you'll be more likely to get good grades, but don't choose something just because you think it'll impress law schools. Also, any legal learning you do in college is going to help you minimally in law school. Maybe the familiarity will help at first but that's about it (disclaimer: I am not yet in law school. This is just what I have read on these forums about college law classes. Maybe someone else can shed more light on this).

Also, you know how you may get a certain amount of credits you can automatically take each semester? If you end up having 1 or 2 credits left, find a class that's fun and super easy and will guarantee you an A. Eight semesters of this WILL add up and increase your future GPA. A minimal difference could still be the difference between a 3.88 and a 3.9.

Get a lot of work/leadership/volunteer experience in college (not necessarily all of that, but some combination), I believe law schools don't necessarily want you do to 50 extracurriculars, but have a focus in at least a few areas, especially if you're planning on applying straight out of undergrad (actually I see you're already working on getting experience, just keep doing what you're doing in college). Which is another thing: I'm not sure if this is as likely to happen with you since you're planning so far ahead, but be open to your plans changing and deciding you want to take a few years off in between college and law school. Just be open to learning and exploring your interests, etc.

I mean, it mostly comes down to GPA and LSAT. If you're bent on going straight through, figure out which semester in undergrad will have the easiest courseload (I sort of wish I started studying sophomore year), and start studying for the LSAT then. But don't start until at the VERY earliest sophomore year, and even then is sort of early, and you should study minimally continuously. I wouldn't take it until you're at least a junior. Do NOT take the LSAT until you are averaging at least a few points above the score you want. (Since you're planning this far ahead, kid, I expect a 170+ or at the very least a 166+ from you).

Do dense reading, like in literature, history, science, some law. It'll prepare you for the reading section on the LSAT.

That's really all I've got for you. Don't get too excited and start studying for the LSAT, you'll waste materials which will not help you. Now go have fun in your last semester of high school, start working on that GPA next year and come back when you're ready to start studying for the LSAT.

(btw, tls, feel free to shed light on anything I've talked about. obviously this is just my individual experience with law school admissions)

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guynourmin

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby guynourmin » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:32 pm

Majoring in pre-law is a truly terrible idea imo. I see absolutely nothing of value in a pre-law major - it almost definitely won't be an academically rigorous program and I cannot imagine you'll be surrounded by serious students who will encourage you to work hard and think critically about what you are working on (fwiw, I believe pre-law/criminal justice-type majors have laughably low LSAT scores and law school entrance rates, likely because the students who take those classes aren't going to succeed on law school. Literally nothing anywhere tells you majoring in "prelaw" is a good idea, so if you chose to do so, there's kind of something wrong with you, right?).

As stidyingeveryday say, major in whatever you want! If you want something to prepare you for law school, then I would think a reading/writing-heavy major - like philosophy, history or classics, maybe something like linguistics or comp lit - or a hard science major - physics or math - would be really helpful. Obvious caveat being, pre-law sounds like a blow off easy 4.0 major whereas physics might not be.

Enjoy college. Do as well as you can, be social, have fun, work hard, make mistakes, etc.

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Alexandros » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:19 pm

^ Agree with the other two.

Also - Although the points above about pre-law programs are very true - I do want to add that you're almost certainly better off majoring in something that's regarded as fluffy and getting a 3.95 than majoring in something challenging and getting a 3.3. If your school's like mine, definitely don't major in the hard sciences or philosophy / another challenging arts degree if you want a GPA that's above 3.5.

The LSAT and all that will come up faster than you realize. Don't stress about it now, but be realistic about the amount of time you'll have to put into it and plan accordingly. (Like, you'll probably want to put aside a summer, and then take into account time for retakes.)

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby HamlinMcgill » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:04 pm

If you really really like classes about legal issues and you think those are the classes you'd do best in, you can always major in political science. That way you can take some classes on US government and the Constitution and that kind of thing. Philosophy departments often offer classes in political philosophy, philosophy of the law, ethics, and so on. But I'd echo the other posters saying don't actually major in Pre-Law. Law schools tend to look down on that.

And I would just say that if you do end up going to law school, you're going to spend the rest of your life working on legal issues. College is a great chance to learn about Russian literature or Roman history or Asian art or a million other things that will make you a more well-rounded person with a deeper understanding of the world around you. Life is about more than trying to gain a tiny edge in law school admissions. And besides, majoring in Pre-Law is not going to give you that edge. Reading books about trial objections and civil procedure in your free time is definitely not going to give you that edge. To the extent that softs matter, I think most law schools would prefer someone who is interesting and intellectually curious over a legal robot.

Logan_LE

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Logan_LE » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:23 pm

I appreciate everybody's input! This has opened my eyes greatly and I am for sure going to have fun now in my last year of high school. The college I am going to is Palm Beach Atlantic by the way. They have a pre-law major but it looks like I will be changing that. I really have my heart set on being a lawyer and I love the law. But I will definitely look at the majors. I don't think I will take anything like a hard science or math because I want a good GPA but I don't want to take an easy course or get a major that is looked down upon. I will find a rigorous course that if I work hard at I will get a 4.0. I thought pre-law would be a good major but I guess not lol. Thanks for the input guys, I will keep you all updated!

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:49 pm

Logan_LE wrote:Hey guys I posted on here last year as a junior in High school and I basically was told to shutup and focus on high school. Probably deserved it lol. Anyways, I am a senior this year and I like to believe that I am on track. I got accepted into my college and I am majoring in Pre-Law and Minoring in business. I am currently a law clerk at an insurance defense firm and everything is going really well. I have attended Depositions, mediations, and hearings with my firm and even attended some on the plaintiff's side. I've even constructed a few depo summaries for the attorneys. I am reading a trial objections book and taking notes on it as well as dissecting the civil procedures book. Anyways, I know getting into law school is based off of undergrad GPA and LSAT scores. So what could I do to get further ahead as I enter my last semester as a high school student? Thanks guys and happy Thanksgiving!


You're right that getting into law school is mostly about your GPA and LSAT scores. While a high GPA is a must for gaining entry into a top-ranked school, I wouldn't suggest picking an easy major just to boost your numbers. For one, a more rigorous major will be taken more seriously by admissions committees. Also, law school is hard - you have to do a ton of reading and writing, and so the better your critical thinking and analytical skills are, the better you'll be able to handle that type of work.

Humanities majors like philosophy, literature and history will give you plenty of practice in that regard. Science and math courses will give you plenty of experience dealing with systems of formal logic, as well as critical thinking and analysis. For example, I think computer science would be a great major for a potential LSAT student - it might not be directly related to the law, but that isn't important. Comp sci is all about critical thinking and learning how to build and understand chains of logic, which you will do as an LSAT student and a law student.

I'll echo what others have said about pre-law not necessarily being a great major. I would have to look at your school's specific curriculum to be sure, but I wouldn't default to pre-law just because you're so set on law school. It won't really give you a competitive edge. If you want to prove that you're interesting in working in the legal field, get some summer internships at firms during your college years. This will also give you a taste of what working in the legal sphere is like, along with actual experience that you can talk about in interviews or your personal statement.

As for the LSAT, I wouldn't recommend thinking about it until you're at least a junior in college. In my opinion, it's better to spend a period of several months intensely prepping for the test rather than doing it slowly over a long period of time. The former method will help you avoid burnout, and will ultimately save you time, as well. Prioritize getting good grades - your GPA matters just as much as your LSAT, but you don't get a redo on your grades!

It's definitely very early for you to be reading legal texts. If you're doing it out of your own interest in the subject, then by all means go ahead, but if you're doing to try and boost your chances of getting into a good law school, don't bother. You won't have to prove your skills in anything directly legal related until you actually get to law school.

For now, enjoy your last semester of high school. Explore your interests and enjoy your free time. Focus on being mentally ready to succeed when you're about to enter college. And don't feel like you have to major in something specific just for law school. People go into law school from all kinds of different backgrounds - pick one that sounds challenging and rewarding to you.

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby cm4998 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:11 pm

I don't want to be a party pooper but I would suggest to keep your mind open to career possibilities. I'm assuming you're 17 or 18 right now and I'm sure your career options will expand over time. A friend of mine was set on becoming an investment banker back in high school and now at 28, he practices entertainment law out in LA. I have always wanted to be lawyer, however now I'm greatly interested in pursuing gov/public service work instead of corporate law, and even now perhaps my interests will change. I'm not saying you don't want to be a lawyer, but it's dangerous to fix yourself very narrowly on a career when you're so young. A lot changes in 4 years of college and a lot mental growth occurs as well. You may find you have exceptional skills in various areas that are not related to law or you may find you really enjoy business or some other subject. So don't be rigid and be open to flexibility.

If you do truly want to be a lawyer and you do decide on law school (if you get to that point), start looking at the LSAT in your sophomore year of college. Give yourself time to study so you have the chance to reach your LSAT score potential by your senior year of college so you can go straight to law school if you so choose to. Also, ditch the pre-law major, that's what law school is for. Take up a difficult major that will develop your cognitive and critical thinking skills like mathematics, physics, economics, Poli Sci, history, philosophy, etc. This will come in handy on the LSAT and it will be a lot easier for you to get a high score.

For now, be sure to do well in college. Study hard but also enjoy yourself. The college years are some of the best of your life. Don't take them for granted. And don't be so fixed on a legal career. You may find that there are other options you haven't considered or even know about. Only think about law school once you've truly explored all your potential options.

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Voyager » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:23 pm

cm4998 wrote:I don't want to be a party pooper but I would suggest to keep your mind open to career possibilities. I'm assuming you're 17 or 18 right now and I'm sure your career options will expand over time. A friend of mine was set on becoming an investment banker back in high school and now at 28, he practices entertainment law out in LA. I have always wanted to be lawyer, however now I'm greatly interested in pursuing gov/public service work instead of corporate law, and even now perhaps my interests will change. I'm not saying you don't want to be a lawyer, but it's dangerous to fix yourself very narrowly on a career when you're so young. A lot changes in 4 years of college and a lot mental growth occurs as well. You may find you have exceptional skills in various areas that are not related to law or you may find you really enjoy business or some other subject. So don't be rigid and be open to flexibility.

If you do truly want to be a lawyer and you do decide on law school (if you get to that point), start looking at the LSAT in your sophomore year of college. Give yourself time to study so you have the chance to reach your LSAT score potential by your senior year of college so you can go straight to law school if you so choose to. Also, ditch the pre-law major, that's what law school is for. Take up a difficult major that will develop your cognitive and critical thinking skills like mathematics, physics, economics, Poli Sci, history, philosophy, etc. This will come in handy on the LSAT and it will be a lot easier for you to get a high score.

For now, be sure to do well in college. Study hard but also enjoy yourself. The college years are some of the best of your life. Don't take them for granted. And don't be so fixed on a legal career. You may find that there are other options you haven't considered or even know about. Only think about law school once you've truly explored all your potential options.


Man, that first paragraph is the most important advice the OP could get out of this thread.

It's a BIG world, friend, and you don't even know what you don't even know.

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airwrecka

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby airwrecka » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:35 pm

Voyager wrote:
cm4998 wrote:I don't want to be a party pooper but I would suggest to keep your mind open to career possibilities. I'm assuming you're 17 or 18 right now and I'm sure your career options will expand over time. A friend of mine was set on becoming an investment banker back in high school and now at 28, he practices entertainment law out in LA. I have always wanted to be lawyer, however now I'm greatly interested in pursuing gov/public service work instead of corporate law, and even now perhaps my interests will change. I'm not saying you don't want to be a lawyer, but it's dangerous to fix yourself very narrowly on a career when you're so young. A lot changes in 4 years of college and a lot mental growth occurs as well. You may find you have exceptional skills in various areas that are not related to law or you may find you really enjoy business or some other subject. So don't be rigid and be open to flexibility.

If you do truly want to be a lawyer and you do decide on law school (if you get to that point), start looking at the LSAT in your sophomore year of college. Give yourself time to study so you have the chance to reach your LSAT score potential by your senior year of college so you can go straight to law school if you so choose to. Also, ditch the pre-law major, that's what law school is for. Take up a difficult major that will develop your cognitive and critical thinking skills like mathematics, physics, economics, Poli Sci, history, philosophy, etc. This will come in handy on the LSAT and it will be a lot easier for you to get a high score.

For now, be sure to do well in college. Study hard but also enjoy yourself. The college years are some of the best of your life. Don't take them for granted. And don't be so fixed on a legal career. You may find that there are other options you haven't considered or even know about. Only think about law school once you've truly explored all your potential options.


Man, that first paragraph is the most important advice the OP could get out of this thread.

It's a BIG world, friend, and you don't even know what you don't even know.


+100000

Speaking from experience: for all of middle and high school I was 100% certain that I wanted to be a graphic designer, and my life revolved around it. I only applied to undergrad institutions that had good graphic design programs, and I never saw myself changing my mind. I also never wanted to go to any type of grad school. After undergrad was over, I wanted to be done with school forever.

However, life happened and I switched my major before even starting classes. It took a little longer to warm up to the idea of more school, but by my senior year (of college) I decided that law school was my next step.

If my senior-year-in-high-school-self could see me now, I'm not sure I would recognize myself. Keep your options open! :)

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galeatus

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby galeatus » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:52 pm

airwrecka wrote:
Voyager wrote:
cm4998 wrote:I don't want to be a party pooper but I would suggest to keep your mind open to career possibilities. I'm assuming you're 17 or 18 right now and I'm sure your career options will expand over time. A friend of mine was set on becoming an investment banker back in high school and now at 28, he practices entertainment law out in LA. I have always wanted to be lawyer, however now I'm greatly interested in pursuing gov/public service work instead of corporate law, and even now perhaps my interests will change. I'm not saying you don't want to be a lawyer, but it's dangerous to fix yourself very narrowly on a career when you're so young. A lot changes in 4 years of college and a lot mental growth occurs as well. You may find you have exceptional skills in various areas that are not related to law or you may find you really enjoy business or some other subject. So don't be rigid and be open to flexibility.

If you do truly want to be a lawyer and you do decide on law school (if you get to that point), start looking at the LSAT in your sophomore year of college. Give yourself time to study so you have the chance to reach your LSAT score potential by your senior year of college so you can go straight to law school if you so choose to. Also, ditch the pre-law major, that's what law school is for. Take up a difficult major that will develop your cognitive and critical thinking skills like mathematics, physics, economics, Poli Sci, history, philosophy, etc. This will come in handy on the LSAT and it will be a lot easier for you to get a high score.

For now, be sure to do well in college. Study hard but also enjoy yourself. The college years are some of the best of your life. Don't take them for granted. And don't be so fixed on a legal career. You may find that there are other options you haven't considered or even know about. Only think about law school once you've truly explored all your potential options.


Man, that first paragraph is the most important advice the OP could get out of this thread.

It's a BIG world, friend, and you don't even know what you don't even know.


+100000

Speaking from experience: for all of middle and high school I was 100% certain that I wanted to be a graphic designer, and my life revolved around it. I only applied to undergrad institutions that had good graphic design programs, and I never saw myself changing my mind. I also never wanted to go to any type of grad school. After undergrad was over, I wanted to be done with school forever.

However, life happened and I switched my major before even starting classes. It took a little longer to warm up to the idea of more school, but by my senior year (of college) I decided that law school was my next step.

If my senior-year-in-high-school-self could see me now, I'm not sure I would recognize myself. Keep your options open! :)


These guys are being absolutely, 100% correct. College will expose you to a lot of exciting new people and ideas, and chances are there will be someone that you meet or something that you read that completely change your "plan".

Also, if you start to specialize this early, there is also the danger that you will find yourself not having enough knowledge or skills outside the world of law to be able to lateral out even if you desperately want to, and that is BAD. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby emkay625 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:07 pm

You should pick a major that does three things:

1. Allows you to maximize your GPA
2. Teaches you to write well
3. Would enable you to get a good job if, four years from now, you change your mind about law school

Try to find the major at your school that does the best job of fulfilling those three requirements. I know you're dead set on being a lawyer, but sometimes life gets in the way. Make sure your major provides for a good backup plan.

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Mikey » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:01 pm

A major in pre law isn't actually necessary, you can major in anything you want. I'd say just enjoy high school while you can, college is different but nothing someone with the right mindset (or someone who just wants to get by with half-assed grades, I suppose) cant get through. But you can't be that person, get he best of grades you can from your first to last college semester.

Personally, and you don't have to follow it, I'd say go your first semester or two as an undecided major. There's so many things in college you can major in that you might not have thought you'd like. Take all those intro courses you'll have to take anyways, and then decide on a major. You might end up liking something like psychology, economics, etc! Not that a pre law major is terrible, but what if you change your mind about law? You'll be stuck with a BA in pre law.

Other than that, try to keep your GPA as high as possible.

Voyager

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Voyager » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:44 pm

"pre-law". Heh.

Note that law school itself DOES NOT EVEN PREPARE YOU TO PRACTICE LAW.

You have to pay $3000 more for a study course to pass the Bar. THEN you show up at your firm where you are trusted with AT MOST simple legal research with a ton of oversight.

Pre-law? That's not a thing.

Dude! Go EXPLORE! What did you always want to learn more about? Go do that! Just study hard enough to get good grades.

I'm with my striped kitten friend above.

(EDIT: Also, dude, being a lawyer sucks. As in: we can prove that objectively by looking at the massive depression rates, divorce rates and substance abuse rates in the profession... so odds are you will really really hate it...)

Logan_LE

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Logan_LE » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:59 am

lol thanks for all the help guys. I do really love the law. It is my passion. You all may laugh at this but I really want to be the best lawyer in the United States. I believe with all of my being that I can achieve it I just need to put in the effort. I am already ahead of most people my age and I want to continue being ahead of the curve. That's why I'm here on this forum. I really appreciate all of your help! Are there any games that I can play so I can get ready for the logical games etc. I know it's too far ahead to study the actual test material but are there any games that will start to train my brain towards the logical games. Thanks again!

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Re: Law School Prospect

Postby Voyager » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:27 pm

Logan_LE wrote:lol thanks for all the help guys. I do really love the law. It is my passion. You all may laugh at this but I really want to be the best lawyer in the United States. I believe with all of my being that I can achieve it I just need to put in the effort. I am already ahead of most people my age and I want to continue being ahead of the curve. That's why I'm here on this forum. I really appreciate all of your help! Are there any games that I can play so I can get ready for the logical games etc. I know it's too far ahead to study the actual test material but are there any games that will start to train my brain towards the logical games. Thanks again!


You are 3 years away from taking the LSAT.

I suggest you don't worry about logic games.

Instead, how about taking Classical Philosophy (which is the foundation of most of this stuff)? Or Rhetoric classes? Ooooh: Constitutional History? You would dig those classes if you "love the law" or whatever.

Maybe try out Economics?

Learn how to write cogent arguments, learn how to learn, learn how to distill the salient facts from material...

Worry about the LSAT in 3 years. The above work will prep you for it.

Then you focus like a laser on test specific skills for 3 months. Then you get a 172+. Then you go to CLS or whatever. Then you end up at Skadden with a $3000/month 1 bedroom in the Upper Westside. Then you work 80 hours/week searching for comma splices in contracts while you try to pay off school debt.

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