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Took an LSAT Sample test (167). Law School?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by damcgee, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    I'll try to keep this concise:

    I graduate with my BBA in 6 months. I have a job offer already. I have considered working for ~3 years then quitting and going to business school for an MBA.

    I've also considered Law school. Last night, I decided to take an LSAT Sample test to see how I might do. With no preperation whatsoever, I made a 167 on this full-length LSAT. I think with studying I can break into the low 170's without any trouble.

    So, with a 3.5 undergrad GPA, a 170-172 (my estimate) on the LSAT, I'm thinking I should be able to get into a top ten school (e.g. Virginia, Georgetown, etc), though certainly not Yale or Harvard (at least not with that GPA :( )

    Would anyone be willing to offer me some sagely, first-hand advice. I am considering doing a joint JD/MBA, but can I spend four more years in school?!?!! I need income!

    Thanks in advance,

    Andy
     
  2. cohiba_man

    cohiba_man Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2003
    937
    Canada
    Full Name:
    John
    Sorry to Hijack yuor thread but I JUST did a practive LSAT for fun, I'm not planning on going to lawschool...it was the actual 1999 test...my question is, how did you attack those logic questions (sara has 8 friends a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h, who can only hang out on days 1-5 blah blah blah)? I got pretty much perfect on all the other sections but I got 7 out of 24 on those :( Only did 13 questions in the time limit, almost half wrong!
     
  3. tvrfreak

    tvrfreak F1 Rookie
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    Mar 31, 2003
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    F K
    Review Venn Diagrams, which basically overlapping circles.
    And how to set up algebraic equations.
     
  4. 98wahoo

    98wahoo Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    19
    practice practice practice. that's the best way. it was my worst part of the lsat...and I should have practiced more.

    as for advice re: law school, I say don't do it. It's not a good time to be a law student, the financial outlay is quite large, and satisfaction with law school and the legal profession seem to be rather low. It certainly isn't the only way to make a lot of money, as is visible by the amount of non-lawyers on here. Also, I would highly recommend at least a year off before you start school. Taking that break gives you a little more perspective, and many of the 2-3 yrs out of college people in my class did better than those straight out. Again, I advise against law school.
     
  5. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    I have an MBA from U of Nevada, Reno and I am finishing up my first semester of law school now, exams in 3 weeks, Sux. If you do an MBA & a JD you can forget about having a life for 3 years. I would HIGHLY suggest you do them seperately unless studying is your favorite thing in the world
     
  6. t88power

    t88power Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
    2,396
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    Ernesto
    When I did my MBA I had the choice to go for the JD as well, but chose not to. At the time, I coulnt visualize 1.5 to 2 more years of school as I was already growing tired of the whole thing. I was dying to get out of school and return to "life." Looking back now though, I should have gone for it (it's too late for me now). No matter how much work you think it is or how much studying you have to do, school really is like a vacation from real life. Having both degrees would definitely give you an advantage of having a unique point of view in most business situations, and people would always pay a premium for that - especially if both degrees are from a top school.

    I say go for it if you can afford it, in terms of both time and money. Good luck!

    Ernesto
     
  7. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,893
    Arlington, VA
    My only response would be that if you do decide to go to law school, think twice about attending one of the more prestigous ones. You'll end up paying through the nose for tuition and be mired in student debt for a significant amount of time. My ex-gf is just starting her 4th year as an associate with a large firm in DC and is doing extemely well financially, because she went to a smaller VA school (George Mason). Another friend of mine is a 2nd year associate out of Georgetown, and he's hurting pretty badly. A big part of that is the student debts... The ex has next to none while other guy will be paying off his degree for a looong time.

    Also realize that the market is tough. The last thing you want is to come out of law school only to be unemployed for the next year or two with 100k in student loans hanging over your head...

    -R
     
  8. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 6, 2003
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    Ryan Alexander
    Andy, there's no doubt that with some prep you'd be in the Top Ten if your application package is solid. Starting cold at a 167 is AWESOME... you should be easily able to move into the MID-170's. If you mention that to your prelaw advisor I'm sure they'll confirm that starting so high is rare. From mid-170's it would even be possible to swing into Michigan, UVA, or quite possibly Columbia, U.Chicago or NYU. If you tried, you should still apply to Harvard/Stanford/Yale because you never know what can happen (I got into one of my 'longshot' schools!).

    That said, if you don't want to be a lawyer it might not be advisable to go to law school. There's the arguments about law school being a good professional degree to prepare you for whatever, but that's really what MBA's do. BUT, there are exceptions: you might be better off going to a top law school versus a mid-level b-school, and some of my MBA-armed mentors in college said that law school is tougher and more analytical (albeit in different ways) and can be seen as having more "grit" in the business world.

    But I don't think that a mid-level law school degree can be as versatile for various reasons, unless you're already doing something (like William - I've heard of other big biz types going to 'local' law schools... their needs are different). BTW, G'town isn't top ten ;-). And legal career counselors will always say go to the best school you can unless you want to be a local divorce lawyer or something. It is a pedigree-oriented profession, and there's a curve that not only do higher law school students get hired for more money initially, but the aggregate salary difference only increases from there.

    I faced the same decision. I was finishing in International Management (econ/spanish/theatre minors) and was trying to decide between law school and an MBA. I wasn't too keen on waiting 2-4 years, and with the coursework I'd done in my upper level courses nearly half the degree would be repetition with a little expansion. It would just be for the pedigree and the contacts.

    I went through the LSAT, and decided I would only apply to the top 5 schools and for jobs (one mentor said just apply top 3 but I wasn't *that* confident! :) ) , and if I didn't get in I would revert to my MBA idea. Well, I'm in law school now. And it's looking like my planned course (go big law firm/make FU money/buy capital) might be changing as I look more into litigation.

    You have to be sure that's what you want - it's tempting to go for it just because you're good at it (not that that's bad!). Try a GMAT too and see how you do. I'm not talking you out of it, but make sure a law degree would get you where you want. A top school's JD/MBA could get you to a boardroom very fast if you're aggressive.

    What do you want?

    Just make sure when you practice you use only real LSATs, the fake exams written by companies aren't the same. Trust me.

    COHIBA: Even though you should really only practice with real LSAT games once you learn the basics, the best commercial book for games is Princeton Review's Analytic Workout for GRE/LSAT (I don't work for them), only $14USD. Start with babysteps from the beginning and do the whole book and you'll be getting 22-25 out of 25 in a week or two. You can learn the puzzles relatively fast and make you're biggest gains there. I wouldn't bother with Venn diagrams, that won't do much.

    -Ryan, LSAT teacher
     
  9. cohiba_man

    cohiba_man Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2003
    937
    Canada
    Full Name:
    John
    Thanks for the advice, I don't have too much to do these days so my goal is to get 20+ on that section, even though I'm not going to lawschool :)
     
  10. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    I really appreciate all the well-reasoned responses. Ryan, as you said, it's really tempting to go to law school now just because I know I could probably get into a pretty good one. I really wasn't expecting to do all that well on it. I expected my wife to do better than me (She made a 161).

    I only missed 2 - 3 questions each on the Legal Reasonings and Reading Comp sections, but missed TEN on Games sections, so that is my area I am working on. I think I will be able to improve my score in that section dramatically. If I could bring that score on par with my others, and not improve anything else, I would have a 174.

    I'm going to speak to my law professor tomorrow, and I believe there is a professor on campus teaching Social Sciences that was a corporate lawyer formerly. I may see if I can get in touch with him, also.

    Again, I appreciate all responses,

    Andy
     
  11. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
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    Herr Prof.
    Your aptitude for scoring well on a standardized test is not necessarily a measure of your ability to practice law. But, there is no "test" for that, other than doing it, and if you ultimately choose some other path, the time, training and credential will hardly be wasted.
     
  12. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    Dirty Harry
    I had the highest scores in the county in every category of every aptitude test I ever took. Where do I sign?
     
  13. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Tim
    How do law schools feel about applicants that are not poli sci or pre-law majors? I want to go to law school, but i'm not majoring in either of those.
     
  14. 98wahoo

    98wahoo Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    19
    they could care less...you'll find a wide variety of majors at LS. We had people with Masters in latin, PhD's in anthropology, teachers, nurses, etc.
     
  15. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
    5,029
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    Tim
    Ok, its good to hear that other majors are treated equally. It seems to me that a poli sci major with a 3.5 gpa and a mech. engineering major with a 3.5 gpa shouldnt be considered to have equal gpa's but who knows how they handle that. Anyway, last year after i already decleared my major as mechanical engineering, i started thinking about going to law school either after i graduated. Hopefully i wont let my gpa slip at all (which might actually be possible, since it survived pledging), and i'll do decently on the LSATs. My question though is should i apply to law school my senior year, or should i work in industry for a few years first for experience?
    Originally i thought i would go into intellectual property, since it's beneficial to have an ME degree if you want to go into patent law. Lately ive thought more about it, and now im thinknig patent law might not be where i want to go. Theres alot of money in it, but i hear its not the most exciting field of law to be in.
     
  16. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    My answer to your question is, why do you want to go to law school? If you only have the general goal of acquiring a skill that will enable you to achieve financial security, I'd advise you to get the MBA instead. You can always hire a lawyer, you don't have to be one. On the other hand, if you have a specific goal and are convinced that a legal background or credential will help you, then off you go.

    To become a first rate lawyer in any field you likely will make rather significant sacrifices (or investments, if you prefer) of precious time. Sure, there are journeyman legal jobs out there. I think you need to have some passion for it to be truly good at it - probably true of anything, right?

    Tim, this thought scares me:

    "Lately ive thought more about it, and now im thinknig patent law might not be where i want to go. Theres alot of money in it, but i hear its not the most exciting field of law to be in."

    You've got to find a patent lawyer to talk to about what the practice really is like before you dive into this. I'll bet someone on this board can help.


    Good luck, Will
     
  17. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 6, 2003
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    McGee: If your worst section was the games then you're set - it's the easiest to learn. Talk to a lawyer and see if you can shadow someone for a while. I finally made the decision about going during my course in Business Law, found I really enjoyed the class and talking about it (of course class and law practice are different - but at least I thought I'd like law *school*). BTW, your wife also did extremely well for taking it cold - without being familiar with the test even a 161 is impressive (and hey, it's where I started ;-).

    Tim: Law schools love hard science/engineering students. Honestly. And, they also know a 3.5 in engineering is akin to a 3.92 in poli sci. The irony is, at a seminar I went to Sat we were taught that the true form of "legal thinking" seen on exams/bar and such required the analysis of math and hard science and not really social science 'fluff' thinking.

    No matter what you want to do, tell them you want to use your engineering degree to do patent/IP law. Schools eat that up. Especially if the school's trying to expand their dept in that (which many are.

    I have a hard time believing the daily routine of patent law is MORE boring than the daily routine of engineering :)! To try and field your question though... honestly I don't think it would make a difference getting IN to law school whether you worked or not. Law firms, on the other hand, might want experience. My advice is to go to Findlaw.com and look up some patent law firms (ones in Silicon Valley, NYC, etc.) and see what their lawyer bios and recruiting pages say. If you need to see who the biggest IP law firms are first go to Law.com and see the AmLaw 100. Then call up or email their recruiting partner and ask whether it would would adversely affect your hiring if you didn't work before LS.
     
  18. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    807
    Houston
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    Tim
    i was a bio/chem major in college so i thought that was the natural course once i decided i didn't want to go to med school. i spent time with a few patent lawyers my first semester and realized that it was way too boring and way too "scientific" - which is why i didn't opt for med school.

    admissions committees know that your hard science 3.5 is easily equivalent to most other majors 3.9's and 4.0's.
     
  19. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Tim
    I just want a career that i like. My dad is in the field of corporate litigation, and he loves his job. I gues he has to, since he works so much. Not only does he love his job, but its also exciting. He may only go to trial a few times a year, if that, but each time he does, its a huge deal AND the cases are interesting. From what i hear (which might not be true) isthat patent attorneys dont really go to trial that often, and just fill out forms. What i really want to do (but wont) is become an assistant DA. I guess i should stop watching so much law and order.
     
  20. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    "What i really want to do (but wont) is become an assistant DA."

    Tim - take it for what it's worth from a middle aged guy you've never met who's posting on some internet forum - if you really want to be an assistant DA, and that's not just window shopping, by all means do it. If you have a passion, you'd be well advised to try to follow it.

    I was a corporate lawyer, venture capital deals, securities offerings and middle market m&a. My legal practice at its best brought me into the lives of entrepreneurs and executives at interesting moments. I'm not discouraging you from pursuing a legal career, and of course you have first hand experience with the profession through your father. My only point is that law, perhaps like anything else, will require tremendous commitment to practice at a high level, and for me that investment was not justified by either the work or the generous financial rewards. I have had close friends who love the practice.
     
  21. TimN88

    TimN88 F1 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2001
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    Tim
    I doubt the assistant DA's job is anything like it is on TV though. I understand that it will take alot of work to suceed in law, but it takes a lot of work to suceed in anything. If i did go to law school, i would probably have MORE free time there. This year i am taking 11 classes, pledged a fraternity (pretty big time and financial requirements during the week,like dinners), and i am a pretty big part of a varsity sport which has exhausting practices 3 seasons a year. Oh, i almost forgot, i promised one of my teammates/friends that i would help him get the formula SAE car operational by this spring (only the 2 of us will be working on it, unless we can recruit more help). In law school, i would only have one big commitment, school.
    Summer internships are where i will probably decide what i want to eventually do because that is when i will get a feel for what i might be doing if i stuck with mech eng. as career.
    Are there any patent attorneys here who could let me know what its like?
     
  22. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Mar 16, 2003
    5,179
    Good grief, with your schedule and obvious energy I'm sure you'll be a success at whatever you take on. One last word, sorry to take so much of this thread - why not start a new thread asking for patent attorney career advice in the subject line? I'll bet someone will be glad to help you.


    Regards, Will
     
  23. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Ryan
    Did you decide wher eyou are going?
     
  24. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Just going over an old thread and wanted to add that since I first commented on patent law I hadn't been around or studied it, but having taken coursework and seen some patent issues in litigation I will say that it is a very dry subject I'm not interested in at all!
     
  25. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    To update this thread, almost four years later:

    I did end up studying for and taking the LSAT. I scored a 171 (99th percentile)
    I did end up applying to lots of law schools (Six: Chicago, Duke, Harvard, Michigan, Vanderbilt, and Virginia).
    The only one I was accepted at was Vanderbilt, where I was offered a scholarship that would have covered about 50% of my school expenses.
    I turned it down and decided I wanted to own my own business instead.
    Now my wife and I own and operate one small restaurant and are looking for a location for a second.
    FWIW, I'm totally pleased with my decisions and the way things worked out.
     

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