Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

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1boardhead
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby 1boardhead » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:20 am

Hey there,

I just wanted to add my two cents in this discussion. I'm envious of your position, Wannabe. I'm clearly not in the same category as you as far as the smarts go. I wish I could boast an LSAT score in your range. I can't answer your questions about getting into top tier schools, I don't have the knowledge (being a bit sarcastic here) of the OL's who are looking happily at their 170+ LSAT scores and 4.0+ GPA's, and down their noses at the peons below them.

I am currently a practicing cardiologist, 58 years old. I know that I will never want to work for "biglaw," and know that I will be staying in my region (Idaho). I did have some heartburn initially about not being "at the top," and not having the best scores and the highest grades, but reality is reality, and you have to accept the cards you've been dealt and sleep in the bed you've made. (Sorry about the cliches.) I applied to a boatload of schools because I had no idea of how well my background would be received, especially with my relatively low GPA and LSAT score. I was pleased to find that I was felt to be a viable candidate at several schools and was accepted at a school that I felt would meet my needs.

I encourage you to go for it. I understand your position and the drawbacks of medicine. Money isn't everything and obviously is not the reason that you and I are considering law, otherwise we would be staying in medicine, at least for the short term. I wish you the best of luck getting into the schools of your choice. I would also encourage you to not be locked into the dream 3, but to also consider lower ranked schools that make you feel welcome and that give you the "warm and fuzzy" vibe. The debt load which you will incur is also something to consider, but I wouldn't let it be the overriding factor in your decision about what school to attend. I doubt that you will have problems being employed when you finish, no matter where you go to school, although (like almost everyone else who posts on this forum) I have no real basis for my opinion.

Go for it! Best of luck.

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

Postby porgie » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:24 am

mdwannabejd wrote: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.

You do realize that by becoming a lawyer, you'll basically be joining the group of people that you've said made your life a living hell as a physician, right?

Anyways, for what it's worth, I do know a doctor who went to law school. He only went after he suffered some serious health issues towards the end of his career that made practicing his surgical specialty impossible. He wound up assisting in malpractice claims against a large county hospital. His medical knowledge made him really valuable in this area, so I think you should consider any type of field that's going to make use of your medical knowledge. You'll have a leg up on any type of legal job that involves medical claims.

As far as admissions go, I think your background will make up for any lower numbers, but I'm not sure if you'll be an attractive candidate for scholarship aid. It seems like schools will want to offer aid to students who are more likely to be influenced by the aid to attend that school, and a poor student fresh out of college is probably more likely to need the aid than you and more likely to be influenced by teh money. And I'm not sure a school is going to bestow money on a person who practiced for many years in one of the most well-compensated professions. So while I think your impressive resume will help you get into the school, I think it might work against your for scholarship aid. Just my thoughts.

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

Postby porgie » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:30 am

dooood wrote:When I said you're "too late," I meant that it's probably not the best idea to take the June test if you are just starting to study now. I know you've already taken the LSAT, but you'll find the test has changed and is going to require serious preparation. Unless you're going to drop everything and do nothing but LSAT prep for six weeks, it's a not a good idea to take the June test.

I studied for 6 weeks on my own while taking a full course load and managed to get a 170. It can easily be done. Just take a timed practice test every other day and then check and read the answers. If he managed a 166 before, he's probably not the type of person who needs 6 months to study for it and 4 different prep programs to get a decent score.

Younger Abstention
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Re: Doctor wanting to be lawyer needs advice on chances

Postby Younger Abstention » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:42 am

No Harvard, Yale, or Stanford unless the LSAT goes way up, for this type of career change is actually far more common than most of you seem to realize. It might be worth a few LSAT points, but no more unless it's framed in a truly extraordinary way on the personal statement or that there is more about your medical career that we haven't heard.

I'd like to ask the OP, what is it about the practice of law that is so appealing to you?

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

Postby dooood » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:27 am

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Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby firemed » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:38 am

dooood wrote:When I said you're "too late," I meant that it's probably not the best idea to take the June test if you are just starting to study now. I know you've already taken the LSAT, but you'll find the test has changed and is going to require serious preparation. Unless you're going to drop everything and do nothing but LSAT prep for six weeks, it's a not a good idea to take the June test.

As for the biglaw part, judging from the schools you're hoping for, I'm guessing you want to work for a V20-ish firm. I have some experience with biglaw and have never heard of someone your age getting an associate job at a top firm. Never. These firms have strict hiring patterns from which they rarely deviate - for instance, if one doesn't get a 2L summer position at a big firm, he's simply missed the boat and has just about zero chance at working at one of these firms. I'm not a hiring partner, but I think you've "missed the boat" for biglaw in a different sense.

If you do happen to land a job at one of these firms, you will not be put on a fast track because of your credentials, impressive as they are, and you will be doing the same bitchwork as your colleagues that are half your age.

It's not unheard of for people your age to go to law school, but the only people I've ever heard of that do so either: (1) have a job lined up before starting school; or (2) want to go into/are already in politics. That being said, if this is really what you want, then go for it. I just think you should know what you're getting into.



Um... in the over 30 thread there are several people in their late thirties who got into biglaw. I think your advice isn't very good regarding employment. Also, frankly, your post could totally be read as ageist and stuck me as mildly offensive.

Also I personally believe that OP could do 6 weeks of preparation using the LG bible (since that is his weakness) and bi-weekly practice tests and probably do quite well.
Last edited by firemed on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby firemed » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:45 am

dooood wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization. He last took the test before some of the people on this board were born. Things have changed. But if you read my post, I conceded that he might be OK if he drops everything and focuses on the LSAT: taking a four-hour prep test every other day and taking the time to sit down and actually learn why each answer was wrong (on top of having a wife and kids) would make it hard to have much else going on. In my experience, people who can do this and make it work are in the minority.
Either way, that wasn't the focus of my post.


Speaking of hasty generalizations: What experience? How many people who have wife, kids, and a full time job or school do you have personal knowledge of how they did?

I worked an average of 55 hours a week, spent time with my family, and still took 2-3 practice tests a week and read all the bibles. Sure, I only improved by 5 points from my diagnostic... but still, it is totally doable IMO. Whether or not this is the minority, I don't know. But I do know several others on this board who did the same or more and did well on their LSAT. So even if it is a minority, it would be a significant one.

Also, dude, remember that the LSAT has changed, but not every change has made it harder. So OP might do very well.

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

Postby dooood » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:57 am

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Last edited by dooood on Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby dooood » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:03 am

firemed wrote:
dooood wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization. He last took the test before some of the people on this board were born. Things have changed. But if you read my post, I conceded that he might be OK if he drops everything and focuses on the LSAT: taking a four-hour prep test every other day and taking the time to sit down and actually learn why each answer was wrong (on top of having a wife and kids) would make it hard to have much else going on. In my experience, people who can do this and make it work are in the minority.
Either way, that wasn't the focus of my post.


Speaking of hasty generalizations: What experience? How many people who have wife, kids, and a full time job or school do you have personal knowledge of how they did?

I worked an average of 55 hours a week, spent time with my family, and still took 2-3 practice tests a week and read all the bibles. Sure, I only improved by 5 points from my diagnostic... but still, it is totally doable IMO. Whether or not this is the minority, I don't know. But I do know several others on this board who did the same or more and did well on their LSAT. So even if it is a minority, it would be a significant one.

Also, dude, remember that the LSAT has changed, but not every change has made it harder. So OP might do very well.

Of course it totally depends on the person, but the average person needs more than 6 weeks to study for the LSAT. I don't know why you're unwilling to concede such a trivial and obvious point; look under "Preparation Time" here: http://www.top-law-schools.com/score-well-on-lsat.html.

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

Postby drdolittle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:10 pm

FWIW, I don't think any of dooood's comments were offensive or at all inaccurate. As anybody who doesn't fully appreciate this will see, biglaw hiring is incredibly finicky so age and a whole bunch of other (obvious and unknown) factors will affect options. Age in particular plays a role in other careers/professions, that's a fact, why wouldn't it in biglaw? Of course OP's technical expertise and experience might totally trump any age issues, but it's still worth thinking about. Regarding LSAT lead up, it's only prudent to advise OP to err on the side of caution, instead of assuming to be an exception. And finally, the questions dooood asked about OP's true motivations/goals in going to law school are really the fundamental issue here (raised by starting this thread to begin with), yet to be answered. If OP's legit, he/she clearly has a great deal of ability so being challenged about the true motives and expectations behind making such a dramatic career leap should be welcomed, not ridiculed just because it isn't mindlessly supportive commentary (not to imply this thread's been all that).

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

Postby firemed » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:56 pm

dooood wrote:I didn't intend to be offensive - I was describing the nature of hiring practices as I perceive them to be. If hearing a well-informed view on the facts of life offends you, consider a different profession. I have also heard of associates in their mid-to-late-thirties, but a 45-year-old first-year associate is something different. From a firm's perspective, there is an age beyond which it doesn't make sense to hire first-year associates. Maybe that point is 40 and maybe it's 50 - none of us can be sure. Being that I have never heard of a 40+ first-year associate at a top law firm, I'd wager that point is 40 tops.


You could be right. It is true that I have yet to hear about a 40 year old first year biglaw associate. Though I think that there is a good chance an MD/JD wouldn't be put in the same position as other first year associates. It wouldn't make sense to waste that medical expertise. Even a coked and boozed out partner can figure that one out. So OP may be a special case.

Also, internet makes tone hard to read sometimes. So I am no longer mildly offended. :D



dooood wrote:Of course it totally depends on the person, but the average person needs more than 6 weeks to study for the LSAT. I don't know why you're unwilling to concede such a trivial and obvious point; look under "Preparation Time" here: http://www.top-law-schools.com/score-well-on-lsat.html.


My response is a quote from the very article you cited as evidence:

As with how many practice tests you take, there is no right answer about how long you should take to prepare for the LSAT.


It isn't trivial or obvious that OP necessarily needs the full 2-3 months. You yourself said it depends on the person.

So... while you are right that most people need more than six weeks, it really doesn't matter. I said I thought it was doable given that OPs issue is logic games, the easiest issue to resolve.

Besides, if in 5 weeks OP finds he isn't ready... then he can reschedule. No harm, no foul.

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

Postby dooood » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:22 pm

Maybe we should get this guy's two cents:
--LinkRemoved--

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

Postby mdwannabejd » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:15 pm

@1boardhead. Terrific! Good for you. Check out the 30 and older thread. I will PM you as well.

@Firemed. You rock, bro!

@ Porgie. Thanks for sharing

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

Postby ahduth » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:52 am

Younger Abstention wrote:No Harvard, Yale, or Stanford unless the LSAT goes way up, for this type of career change is actually far more common than most of you seem to realize. It might be worth a few LSAT points, but no more unless it's framed in a truly extraordinary way on the personal statement or that there is more about your medical career that we haven't heard.

I'd like to ask the OP, what is it about the practice of law that is so appealing to you?


Hi, I'm visiting from the old people's thread.

Abstention, did you actually read his original post?

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


How many undergrads bring that to the table? Take however long you need to figure it out and get back to me.

Personally, I don't see why Y and S aren't on the table. His numbers aren't catastrophically bad. And Y in particular seems to have been more than willing to look beyond the numbers. So he's missing a few questions on the logic games? Is that at all offset by the fact that he's apparently one hell of a good surgeon? Last time I heard, you have to be kinda smart to do that.

It's kinda crucial to acknowledge that these are way beyond undergrad "softs." This isn't the Peace Corps or TFA - he's making a career change, and he appears to have been extremely successful in a very difficult field. If you think places like Y and S are going to toss his app on the basis of a few LSAT questions... I think you're nuts.




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