Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

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dissonance1848
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby dissonance1848 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:01 pm

Screw law school, man. Go become an academic. You would be a good one, you have a chance at tenure. And then you can laugh at all the lawyers working their asses off for no rewarding reason, and also not have job security!

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spleenworship
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby spleenworship » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:04 pm

North wrote:
CarlyIN wrote:
sunynp wrote:Lol you should have said you have a rich husband so you don't care how much it costs. Most people don't have that luxury. Even people who do have that luxury try to maximize their scholarships by negotiating competing offers. To do that they have to apply to more than one school. You said you were applying to one school and I wanted you to know at least one reason why it was a mistake. It didn't appear from your posts that you had considered that angle.

I also think you misunderstood me. I never said you didn't work hard. What I meant was that law school classes, law school exams and the law school mandatory curve are completely different from the type of exams and experiences that science graduate schools have. The mandatory curve, in my experience, is harshest to those who assume they can just work hard and do well. In science hard work generally equals good grades - this is not the case in law school. I don't know if your science background will save you if you don't get the grades- yet another reason to apply more broadly ( though your gpa and LSAT might be an issue.)

I think you may also be mistaken about many other aspects of law school. However as you feel you are quite well informed, I'm happy to leave you to it.


Different tone in this message than the last...Honestly, I would not take any advice from you considering you believed that you could compare grad school to law school having never attended the former. I think you are arrogant and a waste of my time...now that is "harsh". "I'm happy to leave you to it"...please do!

You need to calm down.


Seriously. Law is a people profession. Chill out or you will find yourself unemployed post graduation.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:09 pm

Having done a science Masters, 10 years of bio-research, and a year of law school I think I'm somewhat able to say there is no comparison whatsoever. The sheer volume of reading with zero feedback is completely dissimilar to a Masters program. And writing an exam is a far different animal than writing a grant (not that you mentioned doing it). I was just amazed at how naive I was despite poring over discussion boards, talking with countless friends, and reading every prep manual I could get my hands on.

Also, coming from my Masters thinking I'd go IP, I was extremely humbled by the doors slamming in my face for a lack of PhD in a bio-science. As others have said, make sure you do your research. There are a surprising amount of JD/MD/PhDs working patents right now.

Happy to answer any questions through PM if you want a more "seasoned" opinion.

airplay355
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby airplay355 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:34 pm

I'm in a similar situation though I think I'm younger and not as far along in the process as you are. After talking to everyone here I think I'd be better off getting a PhD first and then if I'm still interested in law, going to law school. I won't be able to apply my UG science background without a PhD and that will just make me :( Plus, it's a lot easier to get a JD after a PhD instead of the other way around.

Have you ever considered studying for and taking the patent bar exam? You don't need a JD for that.

Also, when you're calculating your total cost don't forget to factor in opportunity cost. If you're making $40k/year now, you'll miss out on $120k of income while in law school. Now you're paying $220k (if the school you go to is $100k across 3 years) for a degree just for a potential (not guaranteed) career. How bad do you want the degree? Because I think I'd much rather have $220k and I think there are better ways to grow $220k than to invest in legal education.

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Nova
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby Nova » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:39 pm

airplay355 wrote:I'm in a similar situation though I think I'm younger and not as far along in the process as you are. After talking to everyone here I think I'd be better off getting a PhD first and then if I'm still interested in law, going to law school. I won't be able to apply my UG science background without a PhD and that will just make me :( Plus, it's a lot easier to get a JD after a PhD instead of the other way around.

Have you ever considered studying for and taking the patent bar exam? You don't need a JD for that.

Also, when you're calculating your total cost don't forget to factor in opportunity cost. If you're making $40k/year now, you'll miss out on $120k of income while in law school. Now you're paying $220k (if the school you go to is $100k across 3 years) for a degree just for a potential (not guaranteed) career. How bad do you want the degree? Because I think I'd much rather have $220k and I think there are better ways to grow $220k than to invest in legal education.


And even 100k over 3 years is an extreamely modest estimate. Assuming OP pays full tuition, the estimated COA for ND is over 225k.

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pacifica
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby pacifica » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:36 pm

While I'm a relative newbie to these forums, I have a similar background (biochem PhD, 1st author publications, NSF Fellow) and am applying this cycle, and since I've received a lot of good feedback from people on the boards already, I thought I'd give back and chip in my two cents.

I think with the diversity, numbers range (3.3, 160s), $$-situation, and target schools (around the T20s), OP seems very well placed to accomplish her goals. As for career-related endeavors post law school, I think it's what she makes of her situation and what she deems the rewards to be, so I wouldn't really argue one way or another. So I have absolutely no concerns about OP's qualifications for law school.

But one significant thing that many others have already alluded to that OP should be careful is overestimating adcom's "unfamiliarity" with the sciences. While they may be unfamiliar with the specifics, many similarly accomplished scientists will also be applying to law school, which makes comparisons easy. Specifically:

(1) Calling the NSF fellowship the most competitive award in the sciences is somewhat of an overstatement. Whether or not you meant it that way, please don't describe it with that type of tone in your application. I know because I got it, and I know many others with PhDs currently applying to law schools have it. So yes, adcomms probably won't know what it is, but they will see MANY science applicants with it on their CVs, which means they'll devalue it, and in turn, devalue the superlative statements. The National Science Foundation gives out 1000 to 2000 of these a year, while law school classes are ~200 per year, if that's any perspective.

(2) With regards to publications, I think it is very challenging to get in the sciences, but again, it's not that uncommon. In fact, most PhDs are required to publish before they can graduate. So please again tone down the descriptors.

(3) And you should be precise about the job description at your current institution, possibly in your PS. I think it's common wisdom that in scientific academia (in my field of biochem at least), research faculty positions are rarely given to people without PhDs, so that will make adcoms question what roles you play in your department given that you're a masters-level instructor. So being more precise than just "faculty at a well-known institution" can really flesh out your qualifications as a scientist.

I apologize if any of this sounded negative; I did not intend it that way. I think an appropriately structured tone on your app will go a long ways in making your background stand out. I hope I would know since I have such a similar background as you.

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Liquox
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby Liquox » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:45 pm

don't know if anyone's said this yet, but if you're sure about law, take an ED shot at gtown or cornell. 3.3 isn't unheard of, but make sure your lsat score's up there

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paratactical
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby paratactical » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:52 pm

OP - At the risk of you calling me a real stupid meaniehead, please be aware that if you did not select Native American on other college applications that it could come up during C&F and that some schools require you to be registered to get the NA bump. But clearly since you have a masters you must already know that.

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North
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby North » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:06 pm

Liquox wrote:don't know if anyone's said this yet, but if you're sure about law, take an ED shot at gtown or cornell. 3.3 isn't unheard of, but make sure your lsat score's up there

Cornell, unfortunately, doesn't offer a binding ED.

collegebum1989
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby collegebum1989 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:57 pm

pacifica wrote:While I'm a relative newbie to these forums, I have a similar background (biochem PhD, 1st author publications, NSF Fellow) and am applying this cycle, and since I've received a lot of good feedback from people on the boards already, I thought I'd give back and chip in my two cents.

I think with the diversity, numbers range (3.3, 160s), $$-situation, and target schools (around the T20s), OP seems very well placed to accomplish her goals. As for career-related endeavors post law school, I think it's what she makes of her situation and what she deems the rewards to be, so I wouldn't really argue one way or another. So I have absolutely no concerns about OP's qualifications for law school.

But one significant thing that many others have already alluded to that OP should be careful is overestimating adcom's "unfamiliarity" with the sciences. While they may be unfamiliar with the specifics, many similarly accomplished scientists will also be applying to law school, which makes comparisons easy. Specifically:

(1) Calling the NSF fellowship the most competitive award in the sciences is somewhat of an overstatement. Whether or not you meant it that way, please don't describe it with that type of tone in your application. I know because I got it, and I know many others with PhDs currently applying to law schools have it. So yes, adcomms probably won't know what it is, but they will see MANY science applicants with it on their CVs, which means they'll devalue it, and in turn, devalue the superlative statements. The National Science Foundation gives out 1000 to 2000 of these a year, while law school classes are ~200 per year, if that's any perspective.

(2) With regards to publications, I think it is very challenging to get in the sciences, but again, it's not that uncommon. In fact, most PhDs are required to publish before they can graduate. So please again tone down the descriptors.

(3) And you should be precise about the job description at your current institution, possibly in your PS. I think it's common wisdom that in scientific academia (in my field of biochem at least), research faculty positions are rarely given to people without PhDs, so that will make adcoms question what roles you play in your department given that you're a masters-level instructor. So being more precise than just "faculty at a well-known institution" can really flesh out your qualifications as a scientist.

I apologize if any of this sounded negative; I did not intend it that way. I think an appropriately structured tone on your app will go a long ways in making your background stand out. I hope I would know since I have such a similar background as you.


solid advice, science-oriented experiences should be put in context with your motivations to pursue law school and/or pursuits after law school. There's no need to explicitly state how competitive things such as fellowships, publications, and other accomplishments are beyond describing what you did and how they fit into your research interests. The fact that you have these experiences already makes you somewhat of a diverse candidate. But I definitely think you can weave a really great PS to describe how it all fits together.

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Liquox
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby Liquox » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:14 am

North wrote:
Liquox wrote:don't know if anyone's said this yet, but if you're sure about law, take an ED shot at gtown or cornell. 3.3 isn't unheard of, but make sure your lsat score's up there

Cornell, unfortunately, doesn't offer a binding ED.



they offer EA, which is better for him anyways.

bigvinny
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby bigvinny » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:59 am

paratactical wrote:OP - At the risk of you calling me a real stupid meaniehead


I literally LOL'd

als2011
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby als2011 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:13 pm

OP-You asked for advice and you got it from numerous posters. The realities of the legal economy are very harsh right now and people are trying to give you a realistic glimpse of what to expect, both in legal practice and education.

First, as SUNYNP noted, you should absolutely apply to a broad swath of schools--even if you are committed to "Notre Dame or bust." Leverage is very helpful in negotiating scholarships and so forth.

Second, you should take a serious look at LawSchoolTransparency.com and check out the data they have compiled on Notre Dame--particularly the employment outcomes. Also, familiarize yourself with what "employment" often means in the law--a lot of people these days are finding themselves in part time gigs, temporary positions, and earning salaries at the lower end of the bimodal distribution. I have several friends who are recent graduates of tier 1 law schools who have taken on six-figures of debt and are scrambling for 40k and 50k a year jobs. Their are success stories of course, but many graduates are facing an incredibly challenging job market right now.

Third, with your heart set on one school, you should probably come up with a backup plan just in case you don't get in. Your GPA and LSAT (as it stands now) are quite low for Notre Dame. LawSchoolNumbers.com can help you compare yourself to other applicants and the outcomes they experienced (there are also some comparative charts on TLS). Its not a perfect tool, but worth checking out.

Finally, you sound like an individual who is attracted to the law largely because your science career path didn't work out and the law, with few barriers to entry (ie the LSAT), seems like an easy alternative to transition into. I am not sure you will be working fewer hours, making more money, or having more stable/desirable work in the legal profession. I would encourage you to get some first-hand legal experience (work as a paralegal even) before you plunge head first into a different field. A lot of people put the cart before the horse and start prepping for the LSAT and applying to law school before they have any sense of what the legal profession is all about.

CarlyIN
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:50 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:
CarlyIN wrote:
sunynp wrote:Lol you should have said you have a rich husband so you don't care how much it costs. Most people don't have that luxury. Even people who do have that luxury try to maximize their scholarships by negotiating competing offers. To do that they have to apply to more than one school. You said you were applying to one school and I wanted you to know at least one reason why it was a mistake. It didn't appear from your posts that you had considered that angle.

I also think you misunderstood me. I never said you didn't work hard. What I meant was that law school classes, law school exams and the law school mandatory curve are completely different from the type of exams and experiences that science graduate schools have. The mandatory curve, in my experience, is harshest to those who assume they can just work hard and do well. In science hard work generally equals good grades - this is not the case in law school. I don't know if your science background will save you if you don't get the grades- yet another reason to apply more broadly ( though your gpa and LSAT might be an issue.)

I think you may also be mistaken about many other aspects of law school. However as you feel you are quite well informed, I'm happy to leave you to it.


Different tone in this message than the last...Honestly, I would not take any advice from you considering you believed that you could compare grad school to law school having never attended the former. I think you are arrogant and a waste of my time...now that is "harsh". "I'm happy to leave you to it"...please do!


I think sunynp's advice was good but was just misinterpreted. Law school admissions IS different from graduate school admissions. I am just like you (engineering B.S. and M.S.) so I'm familiar with graduate level research and the classes, etc.

What he meant is that the legal field is different from science field. Take for example, employment. For most scientists and engineers, employment is based on research interests and there are usually good prospects for people graduating with science degrees because your research is novel, and there are few people focusing on aspects of the field which you are studying. In law, everyone is law school pretty much learns the same curriculum, and with the number of schools out there as opposed to the number of graduate programs out there, there is an oversupply of lawyers. So employment is more focused on where you went to school, where you graduated in your class, etc. Whereas in science, your employment prospects come from your research experience and publications. Some may argue, that in law, it's tough to distinguish yourself since your in an entire professional industry.

Second, the admissions process is also different. Graduate school admissions is more holistic and focused on individual interests and general fit with departments and professors. If your research experiences are stellar, your GPA/GRE scores are forgiven. This is because graduate schools are ranked on their research prospects and the grants they receive to conduct it. So, in their eyes, excellent research skills will yield more successful graduate researchers, rather than people with high numbers. In law school, there are more applicants than there are for specific graduate programs, so the schools cannot adopt a holistic admissions process to evaluate over 7,000 applicants. Second, the schools are ranked only on undergraduate GPA and LSAT score, so their biggest motivation is to make sure their numbers are high.

The overall difference between science and law is that science is driven by research, law is driven by prestige. As a researcher, the school you went to is less important than your actual experience in the field. In the law field, your employment after school is directly related to a combination of where you went to school and where you graduated in your class.

Good news is that with your experience and your background, you are patent-bar eligible, which gives you a competitive advantage looking for legal jobs in patent prosecution after law school. Your graduate degree also makes you more competitive because you can justify higher billable hours and IP firms love to advertise the number of lawyers they have with advanced degrees.

Hope this helps you out!


Thanks for the info...agree with the research statement. I appreciate the info, and this is exactly the info I am seeking on the forum.

Trust me, the engineering jobs are more readily available right now than bio jobs. It is nearly impossible to get a job...not an exaggeration.

CarlyIN
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:56 pm

Ramsey wrote:
CarlyIN wrote:
sunynp wrote:Lol you should have said you have a rich husband so you don't care how much it costs. Most people don't have that luxury. Even people who do have that luxury try to maximize their scholarships by negotiating competing offers. To do that they have to apply to more than one school. You said you were applying to one school and I wanted you to know at least one reason why it was a mistake. It didn't appear from your posts that you had considered that angle.

I also think you misunderstood me. I never said you didn't work hard. What I meant was that law school classes, law school exams and the law school mandatory curve are completely different from the type of exams and experiences that science graduate schools have. The mandatory curve, in my experience, is harshest to those who assume they can just work hard and do well. In science hard work generally equals good grades - this is not the case in law school. I don't know if your science background will save you if you don't get the grades- yet another reason to apply more broadly ( though your gpa and LSAT might be an issue.)

I think you may also be mistaken about many other aspects of law school. However as you feel you are quite well informed, I'm happy to leave you to it.


Different tone in this message than the last...Honestly, I would not take any advice from you considering you believed that you could compare grad school to law school having never attended the former. I think you are arrogant and a waste of my time...now that is "harsh". "I'm happy to leave you to it"...please do!





Wow. OP, you are stubborn to the extent that it is harmful to your own learning/betterment (notwithstanding that it is rude). He was giving you some good advices yet you don't even want to consider them because you are dead set on not listening to him.


1) If you really think that you "would not take any advice from ____ considering ____ believed that ____ could compare grad school to law school having never attended the former", you shouldn't bother asking for opinions in this forum. Chances are that many of the users in this forum have not gone through graduate admission process.

Besides, it doesn't need a master's degree to know that graduate school admission IS very different from law school admission.


2) About your chance at LS: if you are a Native American, you have a very good chance at mid-T1 school (whatever that is) with your GPA (low for mid-T1) and 159-165 LSAT. Even though you don't need money, getting a scholarship of some name looks great on resume and may lead to more interview opportunities later.


"Accomplished scientist" - that might be of an overstatement for someone without Ph.D. With the economy going down, more advanced degree holders are applying to law schools, including those with Ph.D/more research/publication experiences.


These types of comments are what irritate me to no end. I am not asking for you to judge me. I am asking for advice. Are you really that insecure that you need to judge whether or not I am an accomplished scientist. You know nothing about my background, my education, my publications, my grant money, work background...Exactly how many Biology PhDs go to law school anyway?? You don't even know...I guarantee it. You are probably just some 22 year old kid trying to intimidate others not to apply to increase your chances...Please, spare me your backhanded advice.

CarlyIN
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:57 pm

dissonance1848 wrote:Screw law school, man. Go become an academic. You would be a good one, you have a chance at tenure. And then you can laugh at all the lawyers working their asses off for no rewarding reason, and also not have job security!


:lol:

CarlyIN
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:22 pm

pacifica wrote:While I'm a relative newbie to these forums, I have a similar background (biochem PhD, 1st author publications, NSF Fellow) and am applying this cycle, and since I've received a lot of good feedback from people on the boards already, I thought I'd give back and chip in my two cents.

I think with the diversity, numbers range (3.3, 160s), $$-situation, and target schools (around the T20s), OP seems very well placed to accomplish her goals. As for career-related endeavors post law school, I think it's what she makes of her situation and what she deems the rewards to be, so I wouldn't really argue one way or another. So I have absolutely no concerns about OP's qualifications for law school.

But one significant thing that many others have already alluded to that OP should be careful is overestimating adcom's "unfamiliarity" with the sciences. While they may be unfamiliar with the specifics, many similarly accomplished scientists will also be applying to law school, which makes comparisons easy. Specifically:

(1) Calling the NSF fellowship the most competitive award in the sciences is somewhat of an overstatement. Whether or not you meant it that way, please don't describe it with that type of tone in your application. I know because I got it, and I know many others with PhDs currently applying to law schools have it. So yes, adcomms probably won't know what it is, but they will see MANY science applicants with it on their CVs, which means they'll devalue it, and in turn, devalue the superlative statements. The National Science Foundation gives out 1000 to 2000 of these a year, while law school classes are ~200 per year, if that's any perspective.

(2) With regards to publications, I think it is very challenging to get in the sciences, but again, it's not that uncommon. In fact, most PhDs are required to publish before they can graduate. So please again tone down the descriptors.

(3) And you should be precise about the job description at your current institution, possibly in your PS. I think it's common wisdom that in scientific academia (in my field of biochem at least), research faculty positions are rarely given to people without PhDs, so that will make adcoms question what roles you play in your department given that you're a masters-level instructor. So being more precise than just "faculty at a well-known institution" can really flesh out your qualifications as a scientist.

I apologize if any of this sounded negative; I did not intend it that way. I think an appropriately structured tone on your app will go a long ways in making your background stand out. I hope I would know since I have such a similar background as you.


Thanks for your opinion.
(1) My NSF grant was not research based actually, and it is the competitive fellowship non-research fellowship in the country (based on the amount payed out for the fellowship and the amount of applicants...ie 100 awards/1000 applicants vs 1000 awards/100,000 applicants, for example). That is a fact.

(2) MS students are not required to publish, just write up a thesis and successfully defend it. I have five publications in both research and teaching journals. This is why I received the job I did...

(3) I was a non-research full-time faculty member at a well-known university, period. I was also an adjunct at two other universities, at one university I was brought in as a consulting scientist to push out some very specific research with university students.

I didn't give go into detail, because I didn't realize that everyone needed to know my life story. It is ridiculous to be constantly questioned about my background and qualifications. I am not trying to mislead anyone...I am unique for my degree level and what I have accomplished. I appreciate your insight, and, obviously I am not posting my full CV and LS application. When I do apply, I will be sure to be specific...kind of a given.

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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:23 pm

Liquox wrote:don't know if anyone's said this yet, but if you're sure about law, take an ED shot at gtown or cornell. 3.3 isn't unheard of, but make sure your lsat score's up there



Thanks for info...I will look into that. :)

CarlyIN
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:29 pm

paratactical wrote:OP - At the risk of you calling me a real stupid meaniehead, please be aware that if you did not select Native American on other college applications that it could come up during C&F and that some schools require you to be registered to get the NA bump. But clearly since you have a masters you must already know that.


"real stupid meaniehead"...shows your maturity. Are you like 20, and getting your nails done and shopping for a totally gorg outfit, and going to like a totally awesome party tonight? Give me a break! :roll:

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20130312
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby 20130312 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:33 pm

CarlyIN wrote:
paratactical wrote:OP - At the risk of you calling me a real stupid meaniehead, please be aware that if you did not select Native American on other college applications that it could come up during C&F and that some schools require you to be registered to get the NA bump. But clearly since you have a masters you must already know that.


"real stupid meaniehead"...shows your maturity. Are you like 20, and getting your nails done and shopping for a totally gorg outfit, and going to like a totally awesome party tonight? Give me a break! :roll:


But seriously. You wouldn't want to go through three years of law school just to not pass C&F.

CarlyIN
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby CarlyIN » Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:45 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
CarlyIN wrote:
paratactical wrote:OP - At the risk of you calling me a real stupid meaniehead, please be aware that if you did not select Native American on other college applications that it could come up during C&F and that some schools require you to be registered to get the NA bump. But clearly since you have a masters you must already know that.


"real stupid meaniehead"...shows your maturity. Are you like 20, and getting your nails done and shopping for a totally gorg outfit, and going to like a totally awesome party tonight? Give me a break! :roll:


But seriously. You wouldn't want to go through three years of law school just to not pass C&F.


Irrelevant, I think. I am Native, can prove it. My choice to mark the box...to fail me for not self-identifying in the past seems like an infringement on my rights.

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North
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby North » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:21 pm

CarlyIN wrote:
paratactical wrote:OP - At the risk of you calling me a real stupid meaniehead, please be aware that if you did not select Native American on other college applications that it could come up during C&F and that some schools require you to be registered to get the NA bump. But clearly since you have a masters you must already know that.


"real stupid meaniehead"...shows your maturity. Are you like 20, and getting your nails done and shopping for a totally gorg outfit, and going to like a totally awesome party tonight? Give me a break! :roll:

She was mocking you.

I've never seen an OP be so rude to those taking the time to offer solid advice.


CarlyIN wrote:Irrelevant, I think. I am Native, can prove it. My choice to mark the box...to fail me for not self-identifying in the past seems like an infringement on my rights.

A fine legal analysis. The best idea here is clearly to spend $200,000 on law school and then find out if you're wrong.


Also, in before you call me immature or something.

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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby spleenworship » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:00 pm

CarlyIN wrote: These types of comments are what irritate me to no end. I am not asking for you to judge me. I am asking for advice. Are you really that insecure that you need to judge whether or not I am an accomplished scientist. You know nothing about my background, my education, my publications, my grant money, work background...Exactly how many Biology PhDs go to law school anyway?? You don't even know...I guarantee it. You are probably just some 22 year old kid trying to intimidate others not to apply to increase your chances...Please, spare me your backhanded advice.


1) Asking advice means people are going to judge your situation, your chances, etc.
2) They are just telling you the truth so you know what's up: you will be competing against PhD/JDs, especially in bigger markets. Better you know that now.


CarlyIN wrote:
"real stupid meaniehead"...shows your maturity. Are you like 20, and getting your nails done and shopping for a totally gorg outfit, and going to like a totally awesome party tonight? Give me a break! :roll:


This response shows that you are either:
1) Aspie (in which case, do your best)
2) Have no sense of humor (in which case, work on that or your experience in law school will be even worse than it has to be)
3) Are an oversensitive idiot (in which case, get over it. See #2, re: sense of humor)

collegebum1989
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby collegebum1989 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:18 pm

CarlyIN wrote:
pacifica wrote:While I'm a relative newbie to these forums, I have a similar background (biochem PhD, 1st author publications, NSF Fellow) and am applying this cycle, and since I've received a lot of good feedback from people on the boards already, I thought I'd give back and chip in my two cents.

I think with the diversity, numbers range (3.3, 160s), $$-situation, and target schools (around the T20s), OP seems very well placed to accomplish her goals. As for career-related endeavors post law school, I think it's what she makes of her situation and what she deems the rewards to be, so I wouldn't really argue one way or another. So I have absolutely no concerns about OP's qualifications for law school.

But one significant thing that many others have already alluded to that OP should be careful is overestimating adcom's "unfamiliarity" with the sciences. While they may be unfamiliar with the specifics, many similarly accomplished scientists will also be applying to law school, which makes comparisons easy. Specifically:

(1) Calling the NSF fellowship the most competitive award in the sciences is somewhat of an overstatement. Whether or not you meant it that way, please don't describe it with that type of tone in your application. I know because I got it, and I know many others with PhDs currently applying to law schools have it. So yes, adcomms probably won't know what it is, but they will see MANY science applicants with it on their CVs, which means they'll devalue it, and in turn, devalue the superlative statements. The National Science Foundation gives out 1000 to 2000 of these a year, while law school classes are ~200 per year, if that's any perspective.

(2) With regards to publications, I think it is very challenging to get in the sciences, but again, it's not that uncommon. In fact, most PhDs are required to publish before they can graduate. So please again tone down the descriptors.

(3) And you should be precise about the job description at your current institution, possibly in your PS. I think it's common wisdom that in scientific academia (in my field of biochem at least), research faculty positions are rarely given to people without PhDs, so that will make adcoms question what roles you play in your department given that you're a masters-level instructor. So being more precise than just "faculty at a well-known institution" can really flesh out your qualifications as a scientist.

I apologize if any of this sounded negative; I did not intend it that way. I think an appropriately structured tone on your app will go a long ways in making your background stand out. I hope I would know since I have such a similar background as you.


Thanks for your opinion.
(1) My NSF grant was not research based actually, and it is the competitive fellowship non-research fellowship in the country (based on the amount payed out for the fellowship and the amount of applicants...ie 100 awards/1000 applicants vs 1000 awards/100,000 applicants, for example). That is a fact.

(2) MS students are not required to publish, just write up a thesis and successfully defend it. I have five publications in both research and teaching journals. This is why I received the job I did...

(3) I was a non-research full-time faculty member at a well-known university, period. I was also an adjunct at two other universities, at one university I was brought in as a consulting scientist to push out some very specific research with university students.

I didn't give go into detail, because I didn't realize that everyone needed to know my life story. It is ridiculous to be constantly questioned about my background and qualifications. I am not trying to mislead anyone...I am unique for my degree level and what I have accomplished. I appreciate your insight, and, obviously I am not posting my full CV and LS application. When I do apply, I will be sure to be specific...kind of a given.


OP if you want patent/IP-specific advice from practicing patent attorneys rather than law school applicants/students check out intelproplaw.com...the forums there can provide you with advice with your scientific research since all the members there are also like yourself (science degrees, research experience, etc).

Your faculty positions, research experiences, and publications are still soft factors for admission since numbers play the role in determining rankings. But you can maximize on your experiences by writing a compelling personal statement which blends your impressive research experience and your interests in shifting gears to patent law.

Finally, while you may think there may not be many science majors (especially with graduate degrees) going to law school, I think this is in fact incorrect. Since it is near-impossible to get a job in the biology market and/or get on the tenure-track, many biologists have opted to attend law school for the demand for biotech patent attorneys. This took place during the 90's when biotech patent law exploded with advances in life-science technologies, genetic engineering and genetically-modified organisms/plants. As a result, a number of PhD biologists switched gears, which saturated the biotech patent law field with PhD biologists. This is why you generally need a Bio PhD to prosecute biotech patents.

Patent prosecution also does not require a JD. You can pass the patent bar and work for firms as either technology specialists or patent agents who basically do the same prosecution work an attorney would do. The JD only allows you to litigate patents. Thus, there are even more PhD biologists who work as patent agents, which is why biotech patent law requires a PhD for prosecution.

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fatduck
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Re: Accomplished scientist that wants to go to law school

Postby fatduck » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:20 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:OP if you want patent/IP-specific advice from practicing patent attorneys rather than law school applicants/students check out intelproplaw.com...the forums there can provide you with advice with your scientific research since all the members there are also like yourself (science degrees, research experience, etc).

i guess you haven't been paying attention, because there is no one like the OP.




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