A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

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lunasol
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A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby lunasol » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:30 am

My story might be long and I know this is a detour already. But I am really determined to do it.

I will graduate from UPenn with a PhD in Chemical Engineering this summer (GPA: 3.6, my school uses GPA to kick PhDs into MS, so that was actually decent in my school). I had many offers from all top firms for my major. But I decided to work for Apple and enjoy a 9-5 ish job with my family that I started two year ago. I became interested in practicing Patent Law after a few IP course in business school. But I sacrificed my dream for my family due to the grueling hours and pressure to be a partner. But my ex-wife betrayed me and left a couple months ago. My ex-wife destroyed my marriage and also torched my confidence completely. Now instead of feeling sad and sorry for myself, I want to motivate myself and to pursue what I always wanted. But first I hope I can get a fair estimate of my odds into a top law school and later to a top law firm from this forum.

Some more info about my background: I graduated from UMichigan with a BS in Chemical Engineering (GPA: 3.92). I worked for Kraft Foods (undergrad), Exxon(grad), Intel(grad) as summer interns in the past. My PhD research is on renewable energy. I served as the president for graduate school student government for one year. Also I took a mini MBA program for engineers/scientists with Wharton Business School while I was working on my PhD. I had many IP business strategy courses and helped to found two start-up tech companies.

I plan to join Apple this Sep, take LSAT either in OCT or DEC, submit applications in JAN. If I happen to get into the TOP Law Schools, I will give my two week notice. If not, I will reapply next year until I get in. My top choices are: Berkeley, Stanford, HLS, UPenn, Columbia, Yale.

I know it is a detour for me to go to law school at this age after what I have done, but I can't reverse time and recover the sunken cost. I just hope this law school thing can turn my life around and help me get out of my own shadow.

My questions are:
1. Do I stand a good chance to get into those schools?
2. Given full time working, do I have a good chance to score high in LSAT?
3. Will my only one year full time working with Apple and my all over the place experience hurt my application?

Thanks.

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dr123
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby dr123 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:36 am

take a practice lsat and see how you do. you sound like a fuckin smart bro, so I'd imagine you could pick up on it pretty easily.

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rinkrat19
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:36 am

Take the LSAT in October, get 171+, submit by Thanksgiving, enjoy Harvard or Stanford.

Luckily for you, law schools care about PhD GPAs only slightly more than they care about your favorite color.

But the PhD in engineering will make you very attractive to IP employers, and I wouldn't think the lower PhD GPA would hurt you there.

I got a 171 while working full-time and studying really badly for not long enough, and you sound smarter than me. I don't think you'll have trouble with the LSAT as long as you don't have any weird reading disabilities or language issues or something.

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Clearly
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:50 am

So sorry to hear of the turbulence in your life at the moment. Make sure you're in a mental place to really buckle down and study for the LSAT; to score well you need to have a lot of determination and focus, so don't sell yourself short if you're not scoring where you need to be before the test. Working an extra year, saving a few bucks, and taking when you're ready is always an option. IF you manage a great LSAT score, you'll scores of top schools with acceptances, or lesser schools with full rides.

Good luck.

lunasol
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby lunasol » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:56 am

thank you guys so much for advice. I really appreciate it.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:13 am

You have a PhD in something useful. So, don't go to law school.

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oshberg28
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby oshberg28 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:04 pm

His dream is to practice law, he has a great degree with connections to fall back on, and your answer is to not go to law school? I understand TLS's insatiable need to sway as many people away from law school as possible, but sometimes, just sometimes, law school isn't a bad idea.

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Tekrul
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Tekrul » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:01 pm

How much of your desire to study law is motivated by your infatuation with IP law and how much of It is motivated by anger, the idea that a top law school and top law firm will be a flying, flaming middle finger, and the "look at me now" masculine response?

Do you not enjoy being an engineer? Also given your studies, is there a reason you're not moving into business?

You have a serious shot at any law school/any law firm, but is it truly what you want? Your post is laden with emotional flags. You 'sacrificed your dream' 'took grueling hours' ' were betrayed'. Yes, you ex-wife leaving you is a relevant part of the story I guess but really has no bearing on your credentials. And you are asking for feedback on a rational basis, leaving her mention wholly inappropriate for measure.

If im wrong, take the lsat studying seriously and enjoy HS/CCN with a good deal of money.

Edit:
1) yes
2) yes
3) no

lunasol
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby lunasol » Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:05 pm

Thanks Guys.

I have other reasons to like law practice. I got bored very easily especially working as an engineer solving same type of technical problems all day long. I feel being an attorney dealing with different cases challenges me on a different level and I would enjoy it more when it comes to interactions with clients and real people.

Also, I am bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese. My parents just moved back to China. So my intention is to develop a career in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong and stay close to family. None of those cities are friendly to engineering/technical careers.

Although I am 28 now, I still want to give it my best shot to see what I can get.

Do my reasons make sense?

Thanks.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:43 pm

who cares what his dreams are. Not going to law school is in his best interest, regardless if he knows this or not.


It's like a teenage girl deciding which boy to date. X and Y are the options. She desires X, but unbeknownst to her, X will treat her poorly. Y, on the other hand, will treat her like a princess, thus increasing her overall well-being.

Going to law school is X; not going to law school is Y.

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Clearly
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:58 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:who cares what his dreams are. Not going to law school is in his best interest, regardless if he knows this or not.


It's like a teenage girl deciding which boy to date. X and Y are the options. She desires X, but unbeknownst to her, X will treat her poorly. Y, on the other hand, will treat her like a princess, thus increasing her overall well-being.

Going to law school is X; not going to law school is Y.

Dude hasn't taken the LSAT yet and has a killer GPA. He's a good test away from Yale for all we know. "Don't go" isn't the answer to everyone all the time, especially with a STEM degree and interest in patent law. Aren't you studying for the LSAT Dre? What makes you any different...

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Dr. Dre
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:01 pm

What makes me different is that I wasted my undergraduate experience on a worthless humanities degree.

OP, will get a degree in engineering; something useful in this world, especially for getting a jerb.

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DildaMan
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby DildaMan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:07 pm

lunasol wrote:
I have other reasons to like law practice. I got bored very easily especially working as an engineer solving same type of technical problems all day long. I feel being an attorney dealing with different cases challenges me on a different level and I would enjoy it more when it comes to interactions with clients and real people.



Have you considered medicine? My gf went to Michigan(BS in ChemE), and then onto med school. She has better job security, higher salary, and daily interaction with real people.

BlueDiamond
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby BlueDiamond » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:32 pm

at least get a legal internship somewhere first to see if you even like the work; even if its just for a week or two. law related classes in business school are much different than actual law school classes. and neither is like the actual practice of law. basically dont just throw away three years without finding more out about it - liking a few patent law courses may not be enough.

if you still decide to go and you kill the LSAT (172+ish) you will have at least a shot at every school. you would likely also have the option of a lower T14 with a sweet scholly. another upside is that if patent work is what you want then you really arent competing for jobs with everyone else, but against those who also have engineering, comp. sci., etc. backgrounds that also want patent.

Edit: also you will have little client contact your first few years - or at least its likely you will. and considering clients as "real people" is a little weird.. yes, some may become friends or casual acquaintances - but, for the most part, they just want their work done well and on time and then they squirm when they get the bill. If real people is what you what I second the medicine idea.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:37 pm

don't go

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Dr. Dre
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:38 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:don't go

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cinephile
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby cinephile » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:43 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:who cares what his dreams are. Not going to law school is in his best interest, regardless if he knows this or not.


It's like a teenage girl deciding which boy to date. X and Y are the options. She desires X, but unbeknownst to her, X will treat her poorly. Y, on the other hand, will treat her like a princess, thus increasing her overall well-being.

Going to law school is X; not going to law school is Y.


I'm sorry, but this has got to be the worst thing I've read on TLS (today). Dating someone you're not attracted to won't increase your well-being, no matter how nice he is to you. If the choice is between sexual chemistry or niceness, you pick chemistry every day and twice on Sunday.

That being said, you normally don't get 6 figures into debt to date an attractive dude. So law school and dating are different in that respect.

NYstate
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby NYstate » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:45 pm

OP: I'm getting a disconnect between your going to work for Apple and the need to turn your life around.

I honestly don't think law will give you what you seem to seek. But it isn't clear to me what you are seeking.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:47 pm

cinephile wrote:
I'm sorry, but this has got to be the worst thing I've read on TLS (today). Dating someone you're not attracted to won't increase your well-being, no matter how nice he is to you. If the choice is between sexual chemistry or niceness, you pick chemistry every day and twice on Sunday.

That being said, you normally don't get 6 figures into debt to date an attractive dude. So law school and dating are different in that respect.



LOL :lol:

your objection sucks

RodneyBoonfield
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:21 pm

lunasol wrote:
I have other reasons to like law practice. I got bored very easily especially working as an engineer solving same type of technical problems all day long. I feel being an attorney dealing with different cases challenges me on a different level and I would enjoy it more when it comes to interactions with clients and real people.

Thanks.


I will not tell you to go or not to go, but I will tell you that you've been watching too much "Suits." Transactional law is a lot of sitting at your desk doing boring crap. Litigation (i assume) is a lot of boring writing. I imagine you won't be doing "fun" and "challenging" stuff until at least several years of doing associate grunt work.

Also, if you don't like boring stuff (technical problems at the PhD level are boring? who knew?) just wait until you read case law, do legal writing briefs, listen to law professors lecture, etc. It'll be a real picnic.

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pacifica
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby pacifica » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:21 pm

I don't know what to say about the whole "challenging versus boring" debate, cus well, I'm a 0L and don't know wtf I'm talking about. But I'm also from a science background, so if you're determined to go to law school, you're sitting pretty if you nail the LSAT. And no, they don't give a shit about your PhD GPA unless it's egregiously bad, which yours is not; I don't even remember mine, I wanna say it was in the 3.7 range?? but that didn't prevent me from getting into any schools.

But from what I've heard from various law professors and 2/3Ls who have already done OCI, clerkship apps, RAing with profs, etc., having a JD from a top law school with PhD-level technical training gives you a tremendous edge in pretty much everything. So if you're determined to go, do it!! People with your background is on short supply.

And age is only as big of a factor as you make it out to be; my understanding is that your SO status is more of a social pigeonholing scheme than your actual age.

Sorry for the ramble. My answers: (1) Depends on LSAT; yes if median or more for each school; (2) Probably; engineers and physicists are known to pwn the LSAT; (3) No; very strong app if narrative is holistically based on PhD training and subsequent work exp.
Last edited by pacifica on Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kronk
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Kronk » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:23 pm

Dr. Dre in the FIGHT OF HIS LIFE to win worst poaster of the 2013 award.

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Clearly
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Clearly » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:29 pm

Kronk wrote:Dr. Dre in the FIGHT OF HIS LIFE to win worst poaster of the 2013 award.

:lol:

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pacifica
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby pacifica » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:33 pm

cinephile wrote:I'm sorry, but this has got to be the worst thing I've read on TLS (today). Dating someone you're not attracted to won't increase your well-being, no matter how nice he is to you. If the choice is between sexual chemistry or niceness, you pick chemistry every day and twice on Sunday.

That being said, you normally don't get 6 figures into debt to date an attractive dude. So law school and dating are different in that respect.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Gerhartsreiter

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Dr. Dre
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Re: A 28 year old engineer determined to go to law school

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:36 pm

Kronk wrote:Dr. Dre in the FIGHT OF HIS LIFE to win worst poaster of the 2013 award.




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