Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

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Veyron
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby Veyron » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:23 pm

drdolittle wrote:
Veyron wrote:
drdolittle wrote:If this is not a flame, then there are things going on here you're not revealing. That's perfectly fine, of course, but I do think adcoms will want to hear the full story, or at least a fuller, more convincing story than you're giving here. Especially at the caliber of schools you're looking to target.

I and others are suspicious because highly successful surgeons with many years of practice do not have the personality to just get up and leave their profession by choice, seemingly on a whim. A lowly resident in internal medicine, much more plausible... Even if you've thought about this for many years, that's what it'll look like, again based on the story you've posted. Or it'll seem like you're acting on a naive "grass is greener" type of impulse.


TBF, I believe this story. We have people like this at Penn.

Surgeons, with these kind of creds? Why are they there?


Fuck if I know. I should probably ask and find out.

flcath
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby flcath » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:43 pm

FWIW, there's been some LSAT score inflation over the past 20 years, and if you didn't prep last time around you should this time around.

The shit really isn't that tough (I guarantee you're smart enough), nor do you have to work that hard to improve your score (you've worked far harder). My first LSAT was at your score, and I raised it 6 points in time for the very next test with, honestly, pretty minimal work... mostly just getting familiar with the timing of all the sections, and developing some comfort with the logic games.

Break a 170 and I'd be shocked if you saw a rejection.

Edit: I sure fucking hope you know what you're doing with this decision.

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jpSartre
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby jpSartre » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:47 pm

LOL dont go to law school bro

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:10 am

futurehero wrote:Wow. You are fantastic.

Some people here discourage you but I think it's worthwhile to get a JD even in the practical point of view. You wouldn't be just an ordinary lawyer with that kind of a serious expertise, right?

Once you get a JD, I think your success in medical-related legal fields is almost guaranteed (or at least you can start with a great advantage) They are many doctors and lawyers but not many MD/JDs. Why wouldn't you give a shot?

For you, I don't think HYS prestige is a necessity but I recommend you to apply for S.
I know some guys in S law, and some of them, even though they are not URM, have 160s lsat score. Your softs rocks, and S cares about softs a lot. I think you have decent chance there.


Thanks, Futurehero! I appreciate your time and advice. I would be very fortunate to have the privilege of studying law at Stanford and will definitely send in my application. Thanks for the encouragement! sjk

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:23 am

drdolittle wrote:If this is not a flame, then there are things going on here you're not revealing. That's perfectly fine, of course, but I do think adcoms will want to hear the full story, or at least a fuller, more convincing story than you're giving here. Especially at the caliber of schools you're looking to target.

I and others are suspicious because highly successful surgeons with many years of practice do not have the personality to just get up and leave their profession by choice, seemingly on a whim. A lowly resident in internal medicine, much more plausible... Even if you've thought about this for many years, that's what it'll look like, again based on the story you've posted. Or it'll seem like you're acting on a naive "grass is greener" type of impulse.


Hey Dr. Dolittle,

Thanks for taking the time to post. Your two posts seem to indicate that you have a hard time fathoming how any 40 year old surgeon could possibly decide to give up medicine and go to law school. Fair enough...you are not a surgeon and I am guessing are a long way away from being 41 years old. You are assuming that I will give up surgery and medicine completely which is not a given...maybe yes, maybe no.....not sure yet. You also insinuate, through a porous veil, that perhaps my decision is not by choice i.e. I have lost my license to practice or somehow have fallen from grace in my profession. Actually, quite the opposite as you can see from my OP. I have been quite successful in my profession and now have put it on cruise control with very little intellectual stimulation....BUT have had a burning desire to study and probably practice law since I was in college 20 plus years ago. So feel free to be as "suspicious" as you like...BTW, how many highly successful surgeons with many years of practice do you personally know. I am curious because you state that they don't have the personality to just get up and leave "by choice"

At any rate, your post reiterates two important issues: firstly, I will need to convince the adcoms to take a chance on me with my lower numbers and atypical softs and will need to explain the why law and why now question. Secondly, the grass is greener part of my motivation may be stronger than I think. Interestingly, the grass is greener concept in reverse addresses many of the comments I have received about medicine being so much better than law. The grass looks greener to y'all in medicine but fighting with insurance companies to get paid, worrying about potential lawsuits and increasing regulation on how we must run our practices wears out even the most dedicated of physicians.

Thanks again for taking the time to post,
sjk

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:26 am

firemed wrote:
Veyron wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:I don't know how much money you make as a sub-specialty surgeon, but many specialists (especially surgeons) make bank. Compared to the medical field, law is shit shit shit. You say that law is your true passion, but the fact is medicine is the rational choice here. If I was smart enough to make it in med school, I would NOT be going to law school. I think that many on TLS feel similarly.


TBF, law appeals to a completely different type of person than medicine. I would be miserable in medicine no matter how much you paid me.

Still, ceteris paribus, WTF?


While I am only a paramedic, and my experience in law offices is limited... I found that both used similar parts of the brain for many things (ie. taking a history to make a diagnosis is very similar to taking a "history" to determine if someone might have a case). They are different, yet I think there are some similarities. Also I think that people with high intelligence will find the differences refreshing in a way.

Still, I also have to ask why the hell you would switch jobs??? You have a successful career making bank with a guaranteed job. You are also probably done paying off your loans. Find a hobby or start an NGO or something, I would say. But whatever.

I will second some things though: if you get above 170 you can look at an acceptance at one of HYS, the rest are almost certainly admits assuming that a) you score 167+ and b) you aren't making up the OP.

Also, I will second the" why not go to U of Toronto/McGill?" question.


Hi Firemed,

Thanks for the post. I have no desire to return to practice either law or medicine in Canada so those two schools are out...even though I was accepted to U of Toronto in 1991 with a 166 LSAT. I have addressed the why law? why now? question in some other posts but your raising it reiterates how important it will be to address this successfully in my PS since everyone seems to understandably raise this same question.

Thanks!

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:29 am

Lawquacious wrote:
mdwannabejd wrote:Hi folks,

I am a medical doctor that has been practicing as a subspecialty surgeon for 10 years and is ready to pursue my true passion of studying the law. I would be most appreciative of any advice on how competitive my application will be considering the following somewhat atypical stats and background.

41 years old, practicing surgeon for 10 years
Undergraduate GPA in challenging undergrad pre-med program at McGill University 3.61. Suffered "sophmore jinx" and had bad second year. Graduated with "Great Distinction"
Medical School at McGill University
Internship and 5 years of postgrad residency training plus one year subspecialty fellowship
MBA degree from University of Michigan during first job in academic medicine
LSAT of 166 = 94 percentile in 1991 (20 yrs ago!!). Will write again this summer...assuming similar or better score
Numerous research papers from first job in academic medicine
Leadership skills of starting up and running solo surgical practice
Selected to America's Top Surgeons every year since 2007
Manuscript reviewer for many years for several scientific journals
Lectured nationally and internationally in my subspecialty area
Married with two girls 4 and 6
Dual citizen of USA and Canada

Please advise on chances of acceptance at Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Univ Texas, Univ Michigan (alumni), UC Berkeley.

Please also recommend any other schools that you feel might be suitable

I am new to this forum and this whole concept of applications and stats etc so I sure appreciate your comments!!

Thanks! :)

MDwannabeJD


Edit: I didn't notice how much you have apparently distinguished yourself as a medical professional when I read through your post initially. I think your softs may have a significant effect even at some of the very top schools, but I would still focus on the LSAT more than anything (and I wouldn't assume the same or a higher score). There are people who reportedly took the LSAT around the time of UG and then retook many years later who said that they were surprised to find that they had a harder time scoring as well later on. Your distinguished WE should be looked at as a very strong soft, but with how numbers-driven law school admissions is I still wouldn't be surprised if you don't break Y/H/S (especially if you don't break 170s on LSAT).

I realize that you touched on this a bit, but I am still somewhat curious about why you are wanting to transition to law at this point given that you are at the top of the medical profession. I think that if you are planning on leaving medicine behind completely you may be a harder sell to law schools; part of the reason you may get a significant boost for your WE would be that you could leverage this experience after law school IMO (and hence make the law school you went to look good). I think how you address this type of question in your PS could have bearing on the level of interest various schools have in you.


Hey Lawquacious,

Thanks for posting. I hope that my atypical softs and WE will counteract my low GPA. I agree completely with you that it will be important to address question in the PS. Thanks!

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:33 am

flcath wrote:FWIW, there's been some LSAT score inflation over the past 20 years, and if you didn't prep last time around you should this time around.

The shit really isn't that tough (I guarantee you're smart enough), nor do you have to work that hard to improve your score (you've worked far harder). My first LSAT was at your score, and I raised it 6 points in time for the very next test with, honestly, pretty minimal work... mostly just getting familiar with the timing of all the sections, and developing some comfort with the logic games.

Break a 170 and I'd be shocked if you saw a rejection.

Edit: I sure fucking hope you know what you're doing with this decision.


Thanks flcath!

I am hoping to crack 170 on the June LSAT....I can get through the reading comp and logical reasoning sections with zero to 3 wrong e.g. 72-75 out of 75 correct but the logic games are killing me. I can only get through two out of four games before I run out of time. I don't see how anyone can finish the whole logic games section....BTW, I hope I know what I am doing with this decision as well!

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:34 am

jpSartre wrote:LOL dont go to law school bro


Why not bro?

firemed
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby firemed » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:00 pm

mdwannabejd wrote:
flcath wrote:FWIW, there's been some LSAT score inflation over the past 20 years, and if you didn't prep last time around you should this time around.

The shit really isn't that tough (I guarantee you're smart enough), nor do you have to work that hard to improve your score (you've worked far harder). My first LSAT was at your score, and I raised it 6 points in time for the very next test with, honestly, pretty minimal work... mostly just getting familiar with the timing of all the sections, and developing some comfort with the logic games.

Break a 170 and I'd be shocked if you saw a rejection.

Edit: I sure fucking hope you know what you're doing with this decision.


Thanks flcath!

I am hoping to crack 170 on the June LSAT....I can get through the reading comp and logical reasoning sections with zero to 3 wrong e.g. 72-75 out of 75 correct but the logic games are killing me. I can only get through two out of four games before I run out of time. I don't see how anyone can finish the whole logic games section....BTW, I hope I know what I am doing with this decision as well!


Powerscore Logic Games Bible. Seriously, this changed my LSAT life.

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:06 pm

The main question here is can my accomplishments in medicine make up enough "ground" to compensate for a 3.61 hard science 20 year old GPA and probable June LSAT score in the 166-170 range to allow me get into YHS or Michgan, Northwestern, Texas??????

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:08 pm

Powerscore Logic Games Bible. Seriously, this changed my LSAT life.[/quote]

Powerscore it is then, Firemed. Thanks for the suggestion. I will let you know how it works out. Thank you.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby nygrrrl » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:18 pm

firemed wrote:
Powerscore Logic Games Bible. Seriously, this changed my LSAT life.

ptblazer
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby ptblazer » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:36 pm

mdwannabejd wrote:
Suffered "sophmore jinx" and had bad second year.


aka organic chemistry? haha.

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:41 pm

ptblazer wrote:
mdwannabejd wrote:
Suffered "sophmore jinx" and had bad second year.


aka organic chemistry? haha.


PTblazer...you got it!!! How did you know?? Organic killed me...along with partying like a fiend in the fraternity and becoming more and more involved in student government.....excuses, excuses, excuses yada yada yada....How I do miss the late 1980's!!!!!

ptblazer
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby ptblazer » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:04 pm

mdwannabejd wrote:
ptblazer wrote:
mdwannabejd wrote:
Suffered "sophmore jinx" and had bad second year.


aka organic chemistry? haha.


PTblazer...you got it!!! How did you know?? Organic killed me...along with partying like a fiend in the fraternity and becoming more and more involved in student government.....excuses, excuses, excuses yada yada yada....How I do miss the late 1980's!!!!!


Haha, :). I knew it right away because I've been there.

Think of a logic game problem like the synthesis of an organic compound. ;)

LG was by far my best section, so if you want it, my tip on the LG is stop trying to solve the entire squence (which it sounds like your doing since you are running out of time) and stick to whether it could work. Most often it is easier to prove the others wrong than find the right one. Also, work on identifying the "hidden" rules by just looking at the rules given to you. Sometimes they are obvious and other times they are more obscure, but these are what the LSAT is checking to see if you get and will make answering the questions a breeze. Good luck with the LSAT and law school.

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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby firemed » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:20 pm

mdwannabejd wrote:The main question here is can my accomplishments in medicine make up enough "ground" to compensate for a 3.61 hard science 20 year old GPA and probable June LSAT score in the 166-170 range to allow me get into YHS or Michgan, Northwestern, Texas??????



Everyone here says that that will get you Michigan, Northwestern, and Texas with the above. And that you have a shot at Yale. Above 171 and you will have a shot at H and S too, IMO.

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:29 pm

firemed wrote:
mdwannabejd wrote:The main question here is can my accomplishments in medicine make up enough "ground" to compensate for a 3.61 hard science 20 year old GPA and probable June LSAT score in the 166-170 range to allow me get into YHS or Michgan, Northwestern, Texas??????



Everyone here says that that will get you Michigan, Northwestern, and Texas with the above. And that you have a shot at Yale. Above 171 and you will have a shot at H and S too, IMO.


Thanks, Firemed. I don't have any undergrad buddies too bounce ideas off anymore. Do you think there might be a chance at some decent scholarship money at M, N, T??? Thanks!

firemed
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby firemed » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:14 pm

mdwannabejd wrote:
firemed wrote:
mdwannabejd wrote:The main question here is can my accomplishments in medicine make up enough "ground" to compensate for a 3.61 hard science 20 year old GPA and probable June LSAT score in the 166-170 range to allow me get into YHS or Michgan, Northwestern, Texas??????



Everyone here says that that will get you Michigan, Northwestern, and Texas with the above. And that you have a shot at Yale. Above 171 and you will have a shot at H and S too, IMO.


Thanks, Firemed. I don't have any undergrad buddies too bounce ideas off anymore. Do you think there might be a chance at some decent scholarship money at M, N, T??? Thanks!



This website is a goldmine if you are willing to waste 20-40 hours of your life learning stuff that will only be useful for one year of your life.

Look at the Michigan, UT, and NU threads for this year and see where people with your numbers got scholarships, assume your softs will give you a slight bump. History is your best bet. Also look on Law School Numbers for people with about your numbers at those schools and see who mentions scholly money.

Also, and this is vital and most people don't know about it: LEARN ABOUT NEGOTIATION. Vital. I have already gotten a scholly from a school that is known for not handing them out, and I think I might be able to get them to drop the GPA stipulations in the next few weeks.

In the 2011 FAQ there is a link to the very good thread on negotiation.

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drdolittle
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby drdolittle » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:45 pm

mdwannabejd wrote:
drdolittle wrote:If this is not a flame, then there are things going on here you're not revealing. That's perfectly fine, of course, but I do think adcoms will want to hear the full story, or at least a fuller, more convincing story than you're giving here. Especially at the caliber of schools you're looking to target.

I and others are suspicious because highly successful surgeons with many years of practice do not have the personality to just get up and leave their profession by choice, seemingly on a whim. A lowly resident in internal medicine, much more plausible... Even if you've thought about this for many years, that's what it'll look like, again based on the story you've posted. Or it'll seem like you're acting on a naive "grass is greener" type of impulse.


Hey Dr. Dolittle,

Thanks for taking the time to post. Your two posts seem to indicate that you have a hard time fathoming how any 40 year old surgeon could possibly decide to give up medicine and go to law school. Fair enough...you are not a surgeon and I am guessing are a long way away from being 41 years old. You are assuming that I will give up surgery and medicine completely which is not a given...maybe yes, maybe no.....not sure yet. You also insinuate, through a porous veil, that perhaps my decision is not by choice i.e. I have lost my license to practice or somehow have fallen from grace in my profession. Actually, quite the opposite as you can see from my OP. I have been quite successful in my profession and now have put it on cruise control with very little intellectual stimulation....BUT have had a burning desire to study and probably practice law since I was in college 20 plus years ago. So feel free to be as "suspicious" as you like...BTW, how many highly successful surgeons with many years of practice do you personally know. I am curious because you state that they don't have the personality to just get up and leave "by choice"

At any rate, your post reiterates two important issues: firstly, I will need to convince the adcoms to take a chance on me with my lower numbers and atypical softs and will need to explain the why law and why now question. Secondly, the grass is greener part of my motivation may be stronger than I think. Interestingly, the grass is greener concept in reverse addresses many of the comments I have received about medicine being so much better than law. The grass looks greener to y'all in medicine but fighting with insurance companies to get paid, worrying about potential lawsuits and increasing regulation on how we must run our practices wears out even the most dedicated of physicians.

Thanks again for taking the time to post,
sjk

Well, I've worked for and with surgeons in the past. Surgeons as a whole struck me as incredibly driven and self confident achievers (a level above the average doc and virtually all other professionals, not surprising considering what they do) who would be very unlikely to make the type of dramatic career switch you're contemplating here. Plus all of them were so busy that they wouldn't have had time to seriously consider it to begin with. They barely had enough time for their families.

I was not trying to insinuate you've been disciplined or disbarred, I was simply expressing the kind of suspicion I'd have about your application if I were on an admissions committee. A law school applicant with your profile could be going through a midlife crisis, or having some other personal problems and looking for an escape hatch, etc...all of these suspicions would likely affect admissions chances. Significantly older (>40) applicants to med school also have to give some very good reasons why they should be taken over the many other highly qualified younger applicants, so this should not be surprising to you as an idea.

But as others have posted, don't necessarily expect your LSAT score to hold up without serious prep (use Powerscore). If you do prep, I'm sure you can get a good score. Above around 165, with a meaningful narrative of why you're switching careers, and you're almost guaranteed to have some great law school options including at "least" Mich, NU and UT, I'd think. Good luck.

dooood
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby dooood » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:18 pm

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Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:46 pm

dooood wrote: If you get your shit together, apply this fall, take the October LSAT (you're too late for June), you'll be 45 when you graduate.


Thanks for this useful and pertinent information. I had no idea.

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:49 pm

dooood wrote: If you get your shit together, apply this fall, take the October LSAT (you're too late for June), you'll be 45 when you graduate.



Really?

June 2011 LSAT Dates and Registration Deadlines for Published Test Centers Test Date Monday, June 6, 2011
Registration Online, by Mail, or by Telephone May 3, 2011 (receipt deadline)

mdwannabejd
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby mdwannabejd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:50 pm

dooood wrote: There is no possibility of you working in biglaw as a first-year associate at 45


????

dooood
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby dooood » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:43 am

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Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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