beepboop wrote:@Scurvy Cur
Thanks for the advice. Since you've had experience in this, how did you keep yourself motivated while you were working?
It's easy for me to establish this goal now, but I'm not so naive to think that things will be the same a few years down the road.
Much of it was lucking into a job with a startup company that did R&D type things, and which let the fresh-from-undergrad engineers do a bunch of exciting things, which can be rare at larger, more risk-averse companies. That kept me interested in my work for a solid 5 years, until the R&D got phased out for more quality assurance type engineering (important, but also boring). I was also a Materials Science & Engineering major, which itself tends to gear more towards research positions, or failure analysis. I can't exactly suggest this as a plan with a straight face, because I was exceptionally lucky with my job, but my advice would be as follows for fellow engineers that have law school on the radar:
Pick your first job to maximize your chance to do engaging and interesting things. For some this can be a startup or smaller company, for others, it can be a prestigious, large company that works new engineers hard. Don't angle for job security. You're young, and if there's a time to really take a risk or two in order for the chance to do something really cool
, it's right out of school when your other ties (kids, spouse, mortgage) are at their least stringent. View this as a time to cut your teeth on some real work, get a few great stories to tell, and do something exciting.
As far as the motivation to go to law school goes, just keep in mind that most engineers hit a glass ceiling of sorts. The starting pay in the field is pretty good, especially when compared to most bachelor's degrees. The first couple of years of working experience are generally rewarded with noticable pay bumps, and usually new duties (sometimes a promotion, though the research group I worked with was small enough that our hierarchy was particularly flat, so new duties just got added on ad hoc with no bump in title/rank). After that, though, you start to cap out on pay, unless you're with a company that can offer you serious advancement, or you dip out of the work to get a PhD or Master's. As a result, you should always be able to view your first job as a temporary thing, and an appropriate one to have a planned exit from. Just tuck that thought away in the back of your mind, and keep it there while you enjoy the experience.
Set some time (but not too much) aside to study the LSAT if you're still interested after 6 months of the new job, and slowly brush up on the exam. A few years in, you can look at doubling down on the LSAT study, take the test, and see if you get the scores you want. If you don't, take the time to study more and retake. Definitely aim for 175+, and don't settle for anything below a 170. Your GPA, major, and presumable work experience are way too good to cripple with a weaker LSAT. If you can keep your GPA up near where it's at now, get 2+ years of experience working, and get a good LSAT, you ought to be golden for law school, competitive everywhere, and eligible for generous scholarships. For reference, my UGPA was much lower, and I have still had a very respectable admissions cycle; I'd kill to have had your GPA numbers.
tl:dr, keep motivation up by staying passively on top of the law school project, but don't spend so much time on it that you burn out early and forget to enjoy the work you're doing now. Also, leave yourself open to falling in love with the work you're doing. If it happens, great, there's no need for law school. I loved my job for about 5 years, and don't regret having stayed.