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Law school?

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Law school?

Postby luckygehrig » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:17 am

I see a lot of people on here asking for advice on undergrad stuff, so I figured why not with law school. Right now I'm a sophomore working on a Criminal Justice degree with "an option in pre-law." I've been considering changing my major to a regular CJ degree with a minor in philosophy after hearing that law schools tend to look down upon students who are in "pre-law" programs. I came up with a list today of all the positives and negatives of each, and it seemed to me that the degree I'm working on now would have me better prepared in the end than taking a philosophy minor. The pre-law track focuses on expository writing, critical thinking and an understanding of the courts system. I guess my question is, does anyone know if it is that big a disadvantage to be a "pre-law" student as opposed to a CJ student with a philosophy minor?

Also, any tips on studying for the LSAT? Or the law school application process? I ordered a copy of the ABA bible today to start getting an idea of some law schools that might be suitable for me and I've been working out of a Princeton Review LSAT Prep book. Anything else I should be doing? Thanks for any help or advice you can offer. I've already talked to some attorneys in the law office that I work at about this, but I figure the more opinions that I can get, the better off I will be in the long run.
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Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:40 am

I have a friend who's currently enrolled as a JD/MBA student. In short, he's basically going after his law degree with some hybrid knowledge in business.

Other than that, I don't have any advice in pursuing law school. A few of my friends in college planned on moving onto law school, but they didn't list themselves as straight-up pre-law majors; they all earned their Bachelor's in Business Law. If what you plan on doing has more to do with say, IP protection, patent law, and contract law, for instance, I suggest going into business law. If what you're going into is more like procedural law, then pre-law could be more up your alley.

My cousin has his Bachelor's in Criminal Justice, but what I know is all that's led him to is a cushy job in Homeland Security. Other than that, I have no idea if studying CJ will be a disadvantage as opposed to pre-law, but I think my point of advice is pick the major that allows you the most flexible discipline. For instance, being an accounting/finance major gives you transformable knowledge to the point that if you jumped into say, marketing, you're building up your knowledge base with relative ease. But if you tried getting into accounting/finance from another discipline, it can be more difficult in doing so. If Pre-Law provides you this kind of flexibility where you can't afford to do without, as you try to get to the next level, then it could be to your benefit to go into Pre-Law.

As for the LSAT, it feels a lot like preparing for the GMAT (or the SAT for that matter), but with the test formats differing, of course.
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Postby deerayfan072 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:53 am

I am currently in Law School, i go to Stetson here in Tampa, (#1 Trial Ad in the country ;-) ) It does not matter what you major in. Do what interests you and get the best grades you can b/c thats all that really matters. I was a criminology major and some of the stuff i learned was helpful the first year, but mostly they tell you what they want you to know, in the end Law School is pretty useless for the practice of Law, everything you need to know you will learn from internships and practice.

For the LSAT-- take a course like Kaplan. It is like 1K for the course, but it is well worth the money, i added 10 points to my initial score and ended up getting a 162.
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Postby thekingthe » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:16 am

Major doesn't really matter much with any grad school (unless you want to go to Med School). What matters most is your Lsat score. Followed by your grades. If you score high enough on the Lsats you can pretty much take your pick of law schools.

Oh and prelaw doesn't hurt you, but it doesn't really help at all either. Just major in something that you are strong in and enjoy.
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Re: Law school?

Postby mikhayl » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:05 am

As others have said, it doesn't really matter what you major in, just do something you enjoy.

I ultimately decided against law school after joining the workforce but I do have some great LSAT advice! Register for your school's Intro to Symbolic Logic class within the philosophy department. I added about 10 points after that 1 semester class ;-D
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Postby luckygehrig » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:14 am

Thanks for all the tips guys. I don't know where I had gotten the idea that pre-law was viewed as a negative, so I definitely appreciate the input. I think I'm going to get out of undergrad with around a 3.8 GPA and hopefully a pretty solid LSAT. I've heard good things about those Kaplan classes before and I will have to look into the Symbolic Logic class. Is that like a critical thinking class? I've heard of it before, but I'm not at all familiar with it.
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Postby mikhayl » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:45 am

luckygehrig wrote:Thanks for all the tips guys. I don't know where I had gotten the idea that pre-law was viewed as a negative, so I definitely appreciate the input. I think I'm going to get out of undergrad with around a 3.8 GPA and hopefully a pretty solid LSAT. I've heard good things about those Kaplan classes before and I will have to look into the Symbolic Logic class. Is that like a critical thinking class? I've heard of it before, but I'm not at all familiar with it.


Symbolic logic is tough to explain. Basically you will learn the rules for drawing valid conclusions from a set of premises. It's not that difficult and it's pretty powerful.

Most importantly it allows you to fly through the games section of the LSAT and gives you the tools to get every question in the section correct.
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Postby luckygehrig » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:55 am

mikhayl wrote:
luckygehrig wrote:Thanks for all the tips guys. I don't know where I had gotten the idea that pre-law was viewed as a negative, so I definitely appreciate the input. I think I'm going to get out of undergrad with around a 3.8 GPA and hopefully a pretty solid LSAT. I've heard good things about those Kaplan classes before and I will have to look into the Symbolic Logic class. Is that like a critical thinking class? I've heard of it before, but I'm not at all familiar with it.


Symbolic logic is tough to explain. Basically you will learn the rules for drawing valid conclusions from a set of premises. It's not that difficult and it's pretty powerful.

Most importantly it allows you to fly through the games section of the LSAT and gives you the tools to get every question in the section correct.


Thanks. I just checked out our course catalog and they offer both an intro to symbolic logic and an intermediate class. I really appreciate the info. ;-D
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Postby The Balanced Man » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:18 am

Looks like I'm a little late on this one. :-b

Regardless here is what I would say. Any major will do for law school. Just get good grades.

As for the LSAT, take either Kaplan or Princeton review, and then take the LSAT, for the first and last time. You will be so happy you did it that way, and your results will be good.

As for picking a law school, go to a law school in an area you want to live and practice. During law school you will make contacts, connections, have jobs, etc. Don't go to law school in Michigan if you want to practice in Boston. Go to Boston.

Finally, I would say this. Law schools tell you that you can do ANYTHING with a law degree. While this is technically true, and you will have a great education that will prepare you for anything, getting hired is a different matter. If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school. If you want to teach, go get a PHD. So on and so forth. Many places where most people have PHD's "Discriminate" against the law degree because they feel the PHD is superior. So go to law school if you want to become a lawyer. (and I've taken PHD, masters, and law classes, and let me tell you, the juris doctor is the superior degree).

Finally, Law school is a bear. You essentially buckle down for 3 years of your life (and then for 6 more months to pass a bar) and don't do much else other than work and go to law school. It does open your eyes, and teach you the correct way to think though.

I think I'm done rambling now. If you have any questions, or need any advice, please feel free to PM me.
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Postby deerayfan072 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:51 am

The Balanced Man wrote:Looks like I'm a little late on this one. :-b

Regardless here is what I would say. Any major will do for law school. Just get good grades.

As for the LSAT, take either Kaplan or Princeton review, and then take the LSAT, for the first and last time. You will be so happy you did it that way, and your results will be good.

As for picking a law school, go to a law school in an area you want to live and practice. During law school you will make contacts, connections, have jobs, etc. Don't go to law school in Michigan if you want to practice in Boston. Go to Boston.

Finally, I would say this. Law schools tell you that you can do ANYTHING with a law degree. While this is technically true, and you will have a great education that will prepare you for anything, getting hired is a different matter. If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school. If you want to teach, go get a PHD. So on and so forth. Many places where most people have PHD's "Discriminate" against the law degree because they feel the PHD is superior. So go to law school if you want to become a lawyer. (and I've taken PHD, masters, and law classes, and let me tell you, the juris doctor is the superior degree).

Finally, Law school is a bear. You essentially buckle down for 3 years of your life (and then for 6 more months to pass a bar) and don't do much else other than work and go to law school. It does open your eyes, and teach you the correct way to think though.

I think I'm done rambling now. If you have any questions, or need any advice, please feel free to PM me.


so true.... i will go back to my hole in the wall now with my books for my exams next week :-/ :,-(
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