Chances at a top tier school?

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DJard
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:22 pm

Chances at a top tier school?

Postby DJard » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:37 pm

I'm still in the infancy of my undergrad but I know that I'm interested in law school. I am also realistic, meaning that I don't want to end up at a sub-par law school and subsequently a low paying job. I'm in this for BigLaw and the only way to get to that is top schools.

I've got a couple of questions about getting in to the kind of schools that I'd want to, and hoping for some advice.

1. Does the undergraduate university matter at all when applying to law school? I'm at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
2. Will a major like "Pre-Law" or something else generic or 'boring' hurt me? If so, what are the sorts of majors that would be better received? I'm currently in Neuroscience (I was going to go into medicine but have changed my mind for a handful of reasons).
3. Is it too early to start practicing or even looking at practice LSAT's? I'm going to be a sophomore next year and would like as much of a head start as possible but not if my school or some other factor is going to make it impossible to achieve the sort of results i'd ultimately like.

GPA-wise I'm where I need to be (3.9) so those aren't my concerns. I know I have the ability but am worried I've shot myself in the foot before even starting because I've made this decision so late.

All help is appreciated!

Thanks.

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twenty
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Chances at a top tier school?

Postby twenty » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:20 pm

DJard wrote:1. Does the undergraduate university matter at all when applying to law school? I'm at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.


Tiny bit for HYS. Other than that, no one cares. It's certainly not going to hurt you, if that's what you're wondering.

2. Will a major like "Pre-Law" or something else generic or 'boring' hurt me? If so, what are the sorts of majors that would be better received? I'm currently in Neuroscience (I was going to go into medicine but have changed my mind for a handful of reasons).


What you major in is FAR less important than your GPA. Remember, you can't retake classes, so a bad grade (or two) will be severely detrimental to you long term. If you have any interest in patent law, go for a hard science major. Otherwise, pick the easiest major you can, sit back, and rack up A's.

When you hear that hard science majors are allowed a little leeway when it comes to admissions, remember that your 3.9 will beat out a hard science 3.5 any day of the week. If a hard science major gets lucky, a school might overlook the sub-par GPA because of the major. With a 3.9 in a non-science major, you don't even have to worry about that.

Is it too early to start practicing or even looking at practice LSAT's? I'm going to be a sophomore next year and would like as much of a head start as possible but not if my school or some other factor is going to make it impossible to achieve the sort of results i'd ultimately like.


Piddle around with LSATs if you want, but don't do more than 5 or so until you're 4-5 months away from the LSAT. Four months of hardcore studying is going to be far more productive than two years of half-ass studying.

GPA-wise I'm where I need to be (3.9) so those aren't my concerns. I know I have the ability but am worried I've shot myself in the foot before even starting because I've made this decision so late.


Stay the course, maintain/raise your GPA if you can, and press onward. Most important thing right now is to graduate with as many A's as possible. If you have to take a year off in between law school and UG, do so. With a good LSAT, you'll be a lock at CCN on down. Just don't screw up or get any withdraw/fails. :)

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cpinker3
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: Chances at a top tier school?

Postby cpinker3 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:30 pm

DJard wrote:I'm still in the infancy of my undergrad but I know that I'm interested in law school. I am also realistic, meaning that I don't want to end up at a sub-par law school and subsequently a low paying job. I'm in this for BigLaw and the only way to get to that is top schools.

I've got a couple of questions about getting in to the kind of schools that I'd want to, and hoping for some advice.

1. Does the undergraduate university matter at all when applying to law school? I'm at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
2. Will a major like "Pre-Law" or something else generic or 'boring' hurt me? If so, what are the sorts of majors that would be better received? I'm currently in Neuroscience (I was going to go into medicine but have changed my mind for a handful of reasons).
3. Is it too early to start practicing or even looking at practice LSAT's? I'm going to be a sophomore next year and would like as much of a head start as possible but not if my school or some other factor is going to make it impossible to achieve the sort of results i'd ultimately like.

GPA-wise I'm where I need to be (3.9) so those aren't my concerns. I know I have the ability but am worried I've shot myself in the foot before even starting because I've made this decision so late.

All help is appreciated!

Thanks.

Here are answers to the best of my knowlege.
1. Unless you went to like Harvard, Yale....etc. Undergrad prestige does not matter too much as long as you have a good GPA and LSAT.
2. You can major in anything you want too, however law schools like to diversify and if you could stay under Neuroscience or other fields like that AND keep your GPA good it would look great, especially over the generic Poli-Sci and History major's (like myself) that want to go into law.
3. It is never to early to start LSAT prep. However, if you are only a freshman right now I would start off lightly during the summer and work slowly. You have enough time to study properly before you will need to take the actual LSAT, just do not burn your self out or study the LSAT so much that you let your other grades fall.
4. A little advice from me. Sit back relax and enjoy your undergraduate years, make sure that you study enough, but also make enough time for friends and do not go crazy from all the studying.

Eliyahu7
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:03 am

Re: Chances at a top tier school?

Postby Eliyahu7 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:35 pm

Don't tell yourself you made the decision too late. That's absolute non-sense. Right now focus on getting a solid undergraduate record, and getting involved in some interesting extracurriculars or volunteer work. I also highly (HIGHLY) recommend taking a formal logic course with your university. You will get credits towards your degree, and it will lay an excellent foundation for once you begin studying for the LSAT.

If your intent on going straight into law school from undergrad, the best time to take the LSAT would probably be during the fall of your junior year. You can start doing some minor studying during your second semester sophomore year, and then go balls out during the summer when you don't have any classes to worry about.

Of course, you will ultimately want to pick the study schedule that works best for you. I personally didn't take the LSAT until after graduating, and I'm very grateful for that. It can be very consuming.

As for your major, the only distinction in major I can think of that might give you a boost or compensate for a slightly lower GPA is some type of hard science. This has little to do with the fact that these majors are somehow "more difficult", but rather is because they qualify you for the Intellectual Property bar. This is the big area of law right now for hiring, and the law schools will appreciate the fact that you can help their employment statistics.

llachans
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Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:54 pm

Re: Chances at a top tier school?

Postby llachans » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:36 pm

If you're concerned with keeping your GPA high, I'd take an "easy" major. Neuroscience does not fall into that.

However, I would also caution you that your goals may change. As you yourself said, you switched from med >> law. Your goals may very well change again, and I'm sure you'll be annoyed if you choose a major to safeguard your GPA to only discover that you no longer want to go into law.

I would keep both of these things in mind. Choose a major easier than neuroscience, but one that can potentially be flexible to your interests.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: Chances at a top tier school?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:41 pm

worst degrees to get in college

1. Art
2. Pre-Law
3. Political Science
4. English
5. History

these won't hurt you in applying to law school, but you are basically forced to go to grad school if you have one of these.

pballer
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:58 pm

Re: Chances at a top tier school?

Postby pballer » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:23 pm

Mr. Pancakes wrote:worst degrees to get in college

1. Art
2. Pre-Law
3. Political Science
4. English
5. History

these won't hurt you in applying to law school, but you are basically forced to go to grad school if you have one of these.


Credited. I had no marketable skills coming out of undergrad.




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