Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

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thompsa2
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby thompsa2 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:34 pm

badaboom61 wrote:I'll disagree with most people on this board and say you should go to law school, because I'm very curious to see how much more fulfilling life is as an entry level lawyer than as a tenured professor. Please come back in 5 years and let us know.


Thanks for the anonymous sarcasm. This is quite helpful.

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elterrible78
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby elterrible78 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:42 pm

thompsa2 wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:I'll disagree with most people on this board and say you should go to law school, because I'm very curious to see how much more fulfilling life is as an entry level lawyer than as a tenured professor. Please come back in 5 years and let us know.


Thanks for the anonymous sarcasm. This is quite helpful.


You really have to take the good with the bad on this board. I'm not sure there even IS a middle.

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dnptan
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby dnptan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:44 pm

Off-topic, but are you applying this cycle? If we end up going to the same school I'd love to meet you.

On-topic, with the right PS, you will have strong softs, which will help you out-perform your numbers. Considering you are Summa cum Laude (assuming 3.8+ GPA) you are a lock at CCN below with an LSAT of 172. Solid at HYS. 176 locks you at H and I'd be surprised if you're out of Y. S is unpredictable.

3.9+ GPA brings your ceiling down to 170 for CCN, and 174 for HYS, more or less (Just a guess though).

Best of luck!

thompsa2
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby thompsa2 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:49 pm

oshberg28 wrote:I would be wary of soliciting advice from young 20 somethings, some of whom have never had a job outside of college, who use the term "wut". With that said, this is a very knowledgeable place with folks who know what they are talking about. The problem is that on this site, pretty much everyone thinks they know what they are talking about when they give advice.

I think you should post this in the "over 30" thread.


You're advice is very much appreciated! This is the first time I have ever started a thread on a forum, and I suspect it may be the last.

Again, many thanks!

thompsa2
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby thompsa2 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:55 pm

dnptan wrote:Off-topic, but are you applying this cycle? If we end up going to the same school I'd love to meet you.

On-topic, with the right PS, you will have strong softs, which will help you out-perform your numbers. Considering you are Summa cum Laude (assuming 3.8+ GPA) you are a lock at CCN below with an LSAT of 172. Solid at HYS. 176 locks you at H and I'd be surprised if you're out of Y. S is unpredictable.

3.9+ GPA brings your ceiling down to 170 for CCN, and 174 for HYS, more or less (Just a guess though).

Best of luck!


No, I am not applying this cycle. Starting this thread is actually one of the first real attempts I have ever made at exploring law school, though it has always been floating around in my mind as a possibility. Your advice regarding grades and LSAT scores for schools is very helpful. As an undergraduate I finished with a 4.0, but that was back in 1996!

Best of luck to you as well! Thank you for the kind words.

thompsa2
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby thompsa2 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:01 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
thompsa2 wrote:
badaboom61 wrote:I'll disagree with most people on this board and say you should go to law school, because I'm very curious to see how much more fulfilling life is as an entry level lawyer than as a tenured professor. Please come back in 5 years and let us know.


Thanks for the anonymous sarcasm. This is quite helpful.


You really have to take the good with the bad on this board. I'm not sure there even IS a middle.


I see what you mean! I need to get off of this forum and get back to my work - I can already feel how some of these comments are beginning to bring out the worst in me.

Take care.

Void
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby Void » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:10 pm

thompsa2 wrote:
dnptan wrote:Off-topic, but are you applying this cycle? If we end up going to the same school I'd love to meet you.

On-topic, with the right PS, you will have strong softs, which will help you out-perform your numbers. Considering you are Summa cum Laude (assuming 3.8+ GPA) you are a lock at CCN below with an LSAT of 172. Solid at HYS. 176 locks you at H and I'd be surprised if you're out of Y. S is unpredictable.

3.9+ GPA brings your ceiling down to 170 for CCN, and 174 for HYS, more or less (Just a guess though).

Best of luck!


No, I am not applying this cycle. Starting this thread is actually one of the first real attempts I have ever made at exploring law school, though it has always been floating around in my mind as a possibility. Your advice regarding grades and LSAT scores for schools is very helpful. As an undergraduate I finished with a 4.0, but that was back in 1996!

Best of luck to you as well! Thank you for the kind words.


Your undergraduate GPA is all that really matters to law school admissions, because it's the number they report to U.S. News. Even though it's a very old GPA it actually will have a much greater effect on your admissions chances than your graduate level grades.

Ti Malice
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:08 am

thompsa2 wrote:This is the first time I have ever started a thread on a forum, and I suspect it may be the last.

thompsa2 wrote:I need to get off of this forum and get back to my work - I can already feel how some of these comments are beginning to bring out the worst in me.


Don't give up on this forum that easily. It really can be an outstanding resource, but you'll have to ignore a fair amount of nonsense along the way to finding the good info.

thompsa2 wrote:As an undergraduate I finished with a 4.0, but that was back in 1996!


With your background, you'd be all but a lock to Harvard with a 4.0/171. With a 173, your chances become strong at Stanford and pretty decent at Yale (certainly much better than the average applicant with those numbers), and full-ride merit scholarships at CCN start becoming a possibility.

You don't need anyone to tell you that this decision would entail a fair amount of risk. But I don't think it would necessarily be a stupid one.

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Hipster but Athletic
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:42 am

Ti Malice wrote:
thompsa2 wrote:This is the first time I have ever started a thread on a forum, and I suspect it may be the last.

thompsa2 wrote:I need to get off of this forum and get back to my work - I can already feel how some of these comments are beginning to bring out the worst in me.


Don't give up on this forum that easily. It really can be an outstanding resource, but you'll have to ignore a fair amount of nonsense along the way to finding the good info.

thompsa2 wrote:As an undergraduate I finished with a 4.0, but that was back in 1996!


With your background, you'd be all but a lock to Harvard with a 4.0/171. With a 173, your chances become strong at Stanford and pretty decent at Yale (certainly much better than the average applicant with those numbers), and full-ride merit scholarships at CCN start becoming a possibility.

You don't need anyone to tell you that this decision would entail a fair amount of risk. But I don't think it would necessarily be a stupid one.

She gets an AA boost dude.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:07 am

thompsa2 wrote:You're advice is very much appreciated!


thompsa2 wrote:As an undergraduate I finished with a 4.0


:|

Ti Malice
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:25 am

Hipster but Athletic wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:
thompsa2 wrote:This is the first time I have ever started a thread on a forum, and I suspect it may be the last.

thompsa2 wrote:I need to get off of this forum and get back to my work - I can already feel how some of these comments are beginning to bring out the worst in me.


Don't give up on this forum that easily. It really can be an outstanding resource, but you'll have to ignore a fair amount of nonsense along the way to finding the good info.

thompsa2 wrote:As an undergraduate I finished with a 4.0, but that was back in 1996!


With your background, you'd be all but a lock to Harvard with a 4.0/171. With a 173, your chances become strong at Stanford and pretty decent at Yale (certainly much better than the average applicant with those numbers), and full-ride merit scholarships at CCN start becoming a possibility.

You don't need anyone to tell you that this decision would entail a fair amount of risk. But I don't think it would necessarily be a stupid one.

She gets an AA boost dude.


Never saw her mention she was AA, dude, but I'll take your word for it.

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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby NYstate » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:40 am

thompsa2 wrote:
oshberg28 wrote:I would be wary of soliciting advice from young 20 somethings, some of whom have never had a job outside of college, who use the term "wut". With that said, this is a very knowledgeable place with folks who know what they are talking about. The problem is that on this site, pretty much everyone thinks they know what they are talking about when they give advice.

I think you should post this in the "over 30" thread.


You're advice is very much appreciated! This is the first time I have ever started a thread on a forum, and I suspect it may be the last.

Again, many thanks!


Why would you give up the best admissions resource? Just be sure to understand the employment outlook before you give up a job that you can't lose. Nothing in law compares to that - outside of the federal bar. I think you have no idea about the job market and the job market for advocates for the poor?

And don't assume that people posting here are 0Ls or people who have never had a job before. There are plenty of experienced lawyers here trying to give solid advice. I'm back from my job because of Thanksgiving. I'm trying to stop you from throwing away a solid job with benefits you might need, time to do research and enjoy life simply because you are finding it bureaucratic.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:41 am

There is absolutely nothing crazy about choosing to give up a tenured job. There are a lot of incredibly sucky things about working in higher education right now, and to some extent, the way that the "prize" out of law school is getting a biglaw job, which looks objectively awesome but actually often sucks, the prize out of academia is getting a job/tenure, which looks objectively awesome but can also often suck. I know from the outside the job security/demands of an academic job look cushy, but they frequently are not.

This is not to say that the OP should necessarily go to law school or will enjoy the practice of law or will even end up employed out of law school (though they sound like they're well placed with a 4.0 UGGPA to start, and I think a PhD and experience as a college professor can be solid softs, spun properly, especially depending on the area of sociology). It's just to say that the OP isn't nuts for considering something else.

OP, something to recognize is that on this board there's an overwhelming emphasis on job security/stability (reasonably enough given the economy and cost of law school and the reasons why most people here go to law school), and after that, on salary (again, see student loan debt). These override most other employment concerns, which colors how people here are responding to you.

Also, this isn't the most polite place, but there is tons of good information about choosing schools and the application process. Some of it may not fit you as easily, since you're atypical of applicants here, but a lot will, if you just look past the tone.

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midwest17
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby midwest17 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:07 pm

NYstate wrote:Why would you give up the best admissions resource? Just be sure to understand the employment outlook before you give up a job that you can't lose. Nothing in law compares to that - outside of the federal bar. I think you have no idea about the job market and the job market for advocates for the poor?


Huh? Do you mean A3 judgeships?

NYstate
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby NYstate » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:57 pm

midwest17 wrote:
NYstate wrote:Why would you give up the best admissions resource? Just be sure to understand the employment outlook before you give up a job that you can't lose. Nothing in law compares to that - outside of the federal bar. I think you have no idea about the job market and the job market for advocates for the poor?


Huh? Do you mean A3 judgeships?


Yes. Wasn't sure OP would know what that was.

OP- years ago people used to tell posters to get an LSAT score and come back for advice. That's your next step. But be aware that law school
admissions relies heavily on numbers.

I am familiar with tenured faculty jobs through family members. They have always appreciated not having to worry about losing their job or benefits, which includes housing in NYC. And they've been able to spend summers and Januarys in Aspen or Europe doing research and meetings. I dont know of a single lawyer who can honestly call their time their own. Seemed like a great life from the outside anyway. I can't imagine giving up that job security and flexibility.

I guess I've criticized you enough. Get an LSAT score and I'm sure there will be people here to help you.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:07 pm

Someone with tenure in a job that provides housing in NYC has already won the lottery, academically speaking.

NYstate
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby NYstate » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:21 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Someone with tenure in a job that provides housing in NYC has already won the lottery, academically speaking.


I only know about Columbia and NYU. I think other schools may do the same, but I don't know. Housing isn't free but it is heavily discounted. They don't pay salaries that allow professors to pay market housing costs.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:43 am

Right. My point is that working at Columbia and NYU are really plum jobs for academics, which don't reflect the reality of most academics' jobs.

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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby NYstate » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:57 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Right. My point is that working at Columbia and NYU are really plum jobs for academics, which don't reflect the reality of most academics' jobs.

So my bias may be over-estimating the value of tenure because of the jobs I mentioned. Fair enough but I also know professors, close family friends, not relatives, at a SUNY school. They seemed pretty happy as well having flexibility to travel for research and time for their kids. They do work harder and teach more classes, than Columbia and NYU, but they still have a good life. I stayed with them a lot when I was sick and got acces to the school library and computer. The facilities and the students weren't Ivy League- but it was possible to have a nice life and to succeed from there.

Also, my strong bias to not losing a job is evident from having lived through the crash and subsequent and some ongoing purges. Losing a job as a lawyer can be terrifying. I think there may be a high number of lawyers who have good jobs that would consider trading with OP- tenure and control over your own time plus ability to pursue academic research interests ( as well as finding promising students) seem like invaluable perks.

So my own strong biases are impacting my well- intentioned advice. I see academia as a little refuge from the real world. I would stay in that refuge if I already had a spot. Hell, I would be happy if I could just get a promise I would never have to work all night again. Though the non-profit jobs OP may seek may have more reasonable schedules than corporate.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:14 pm

Yeah, that makes sense. Academic jobs certainly can be great. I guess my point is not that academia is worse than biglaw/being a lawyer more generally, just that it can suck in its own way and wanting to leave it is not insane. Teaching can suck, students can suck, funding and publishing your research can suck, grading always sucks, academic politics can suck, and higher ed is going to hell in a handbasket - the kinds of problems seen in legal education have parallels in higher ed generally. Having permanent job security isn't that great if you hate your job - it's not easy to change institutions once tenured. Academia's also not lucrative.

There are plenty of reasons to stay in academia, and the OP may well do so - maybe they should, and maybe they shouldn't go to law school. But there are legit reasons to want to leave academia.

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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby JazzOne » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:49 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Academia's also not lucrative.

I disagree with this. Most academics don't chase money, but they certainly have the time to if they choose. My required weekly commitment is 8 hours. I make a solid salary for eight hours per week. I could work another full-time job on top of that. You can teach at more than one university if there are many in your area. My hourly take-home rate is higher now than it was in biglaw.

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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:31 pm

JazzOne wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Academia's also not lucrative.

I disagree with this. Most academics don't chase money, but they certainly have the time to if they choose. My required weekly commitment is 8 hours. I make a solid salary for eight hours per week. I could work another full-time job on top of that. You can teach at more than one university if there are many in your area. My hourly take-home rate is higher now than it was in biglaw.

The OP is in sociology, and if I was unclear, let me say that I was talking about non-legal academia (since that's what the OP would be leaving). Non-legal (or business) academia is absolutely and utterly different from legal academia. Most non-legal academics get paid about $3000-4000 per course. (Although it varies, the average in one recent study is $2,987 per 3 credit course: http://chronicle.com/article/Adjunct-Pr ... de/136439/). Teaching, say, 5 courses a semester - which gets you to a princely $40K annual salary - is absolutely more than 8 hours a week of work, nor does it allow you time for working other jobs. If you teach at more than one institution at a time, you're usually not full-time at any of them, so you don't get benefits (never mind factoring in commuting and dealing with more than one bureaucracy). I mean, you could teach one course a semester and work a full-time job on top of that, but then you're not really making a living as an academic - you just do it on the side - which doesn't really suggest that academia itself is particularly lucrative.

Tenured profs in non-legal academia can do reasonably well, if they are superstars hired at Yale or Harvard or the like, and depending on their field. Full professors in history at state flagships, who've been working for 20+ years, make ~$125K depending where in the country you are. Someone (in history) at a branch campus who's been in the job nearly 40 years may make about $85K. I think sociology is fairly similar to history in terms of the the salary options (things like computer science and econ are obviously going to be different). Salaries vary a great deal, however, depending on the individual institution's financial position. But really, I think one of the whole points of tenure is that you can pay people less because job security makes up for it.

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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Academia's also not lucrative.

I disagree with this. Most academics don't chase money, but they certainly have the time to if they choose. My required weekly commitment is 8 hours. I make a solid salary for eight hours per week. I could work another full-time job on top of that. You can teach at more than one university if there are many in your area. My hourly take-home rate is higher now than it was in biglaw.

The OP is in sociology, and if I was unclear, let me say that I was talking about non-legal academia (since that's what the OP would be leaving). Non-legal (or business) academia is absolutely and utterly different from legal academia. Most non-legal academics get paid about $3000-4000 per course. (Although it varies, the average in one recent study is $2,987 per 3 credit course: http://chronicle.com/article/Adjunct-Pr ... de/136439/). Teaching, say, 5 courses a semester - which gets you to a princely $40K annual salary - is absolutely more than 8 hours a week of work, nor does it allow you time for working other jobs. If you teach at more than one institution at a time, you're usually not full-time at any of them, so you don't get benefits (never mind factoring in commuting and dealing with more than one bureaucracy). I mean, you could teach one course a semester and work a full-time job on top of that, but then you're not really making a living as an academic - you just do it on the side - which doesn't really suggest that academia itself is particularly lucrative.

Tenured profs in non-legal academia can do reasonably well, if they are superstars hired at Yale or Harvard or the like, and depending on their field. Full professors in history at state flagships, who've been working for 20+ years, make ~$125K depending where in the country you are. Someone (in history) at a branch campus who's been in the job nearly 40 years may make about $85K. I think sociology is fairly similar to history in terms of the the salary options (things like computer science and econ are obviously going to be different). Salaries vary a great deal, however, depending on the individual institution's financial position. But really, I think one of the whole points of tenure is that you can pay people less because job security makes up for it.

What do in-house NPO lawyers get paid?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:01 am

Hipster but Athletic wrote:What do in-house NPO lawyers get paid?

I honestly don't know. Wouldn't be surprised if it's comparable to academia. To be fair, I realize the OP didn't talk about money as a reason for getting out of academia - that was just me on my soapbox.

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Re: Current PhD tenured professor considering law school

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:17 am

I mean the best advice she could get I guess would be to talk to YHS law grads at NPOs. TLS is huge on the resume doesn't matter for getting IN to law school but I'm guessing a professorship is a decent credential for working for an NPO. And I'm thinking even if she 'd get let go...Yale law plus PhD means you'd have a decent shot at finding more work relatively soon.




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