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Old 01-20-10, 05:38 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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Admittance into law school: will a math background "set me apart?"

The title pretty much explains it. Most of the people at my college who plan on going to law school are English or philosophy majors, not me. I'm an economics major with a minor in math. The only reason it's not a major in math is because some of the math classes are taught by the econ department, and so count toward that discipline's degree (eg. econometrics, regression analysis, probability).

Will studying math serve me well in law school, and perhaps make my application to it stand out at all?
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Old 01-20-10, 05:54 PM   #2
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Yes, you'll stand out. And that's a good thing, as long as your grades and LSAT are decent.

Will it serve you well as a law student? Maybe. If you like math because you're the kind of person who has to have a definite right or wrong answer, you'll have a hard time at law school.
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Old 01-20-10, 06:55 PM   #3
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You can do your own billing when you graduate.
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Old 01-20-10, 07:07 PM   #4
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Will it serve you well as a law student? Maybe. If you like math because you're the kind of person who has to have a definite right or wrong answer, you'll have a hard time at law school.
That's exactly right. Math and engineering students tend to look for exact answers. Studying law involves analyzing situations and facts, developing conclusions, and being flexible enough to rapidly change with new information or persuasive arguments.

My guess is you won't like law school with an econ and math background.
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Old 01-20-10, 07:37 PM   #5
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I did my legal training with a master's in chemistry under my belt. Your GPA and LSAT scores will count for more than your choice of major. It probably will not hurt, assuming that your GPA and LSAT scores are good. The admissions committee may like it for adding diversity to the student pool.
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Old 01-20-10, 07:37 PM   #6
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You can do your own billing when you graduate.


Actually, I'm unhappy with my econ/math background because there's little room for argument and creativity. If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a different major.
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Old 01-20-10, 07:50 PM   #7
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Actually, I'm unhappy with my econ/math background because there's little room for argument and creativity. If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a different major.
You mean all those years of us solving your physics problems and you end up with an Econ major??? I'm insulted Where did we go wrong???
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Old 01-20-10, 09:36 PM   #8
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Yes, you'll stand out. And that's a good thing, as long as your grades and LSAT are decent.

Will it serve you well as a law student? Maybe. If you like math because you're the kind of person who has to have a definite right or wrong answer, you'll have a hard time at law school.
I disagree. Yes, probably most of the folks headed for law school are Poly Sci/Gov't majors, but there are a lot of Econ majors and math geeks, too.

LSAT, grades and other "stuff" is what they'll look at. Now, your math training may help you with the logic section of the LSAT, so there is that.
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Old 01-20-10, 09:51 PM   #9
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You mean all those years of us solving your physics problems and you end up with an Econ major??? I'm insulted Where did we go wrong???
Haha, to be fair you're referencing when I was a senior in high school -- 4 years ago. I thought JSchen would be the only one to remember that
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Old 01-20-10, 09:54 PM   #10
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No way. I've been here less than three years, and I remember those threads!
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Old 01-20-10, 09:55 PM   #11
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You can do your own billing when you graduate.
You'll have to learn "creative" legal math:

Young lawyer, walking down the street, is suddenly struck dead. When he gets to heaven, he's upset. "Why me God? I'm perfectly healthy, I ride my bike 100 miles a week, and, after all, I'm only 35 years old."

God says, "You're only 35? We were just adding up all the hours you've been billing your clients, and figured that by now you had to be at least 85."
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Old 01-21-10, 08:18 AM   #12
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A lawyer wouldn't be here asking us this question.
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Old 01-21-10, 08:21 AM   #13
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The title pretty much explains it. Most of the people at my college who plan on going to law school are English or philosophy majors, not me. I'm an economics major with a minor in math. The only reason it's not a major in math is because some of the math classes are taught by the econ department, and so count toward that discipline's degree (eg. econometrics, regression analysis, probability).

Will studying math serve me well in law school, and perhaps make my application to it stand out at all?
ambitions of becoming a back office lawyer?
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Old 01-21-10, 08:22 AM   #14
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I cannot wait until you become a lawyer and you let Foo advise you on your cases. Best of Luck PC2
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

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Old 01-21-10, 09:20 AM   #15
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I met a guy in engineering school who was planning on a law degree. Said he'd looked into it and specialty engineering lawyers get paid real well. Also, that after engineering school, law school should be a breeze.

I discount his last statement there a bit, but he seemed to have his knowledge together otherwise.

Except:
"Actually, I'm unhappy with my econ/math background because there's little room for argument and creativity. If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a different major."

The reason you'll stick out favorably in law school and after you get out is because of your math/econ background. The combo is what people might be interested in, when you're looking for a job. If you don't like the subject matter to begin with and want to move away from it, it stops being a benefit. But if you don't like doing it to begin with, dealing with the legal aspects will hardly be fun, either.
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Old 01-21-10, 09:23 AM   #16
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No way. I've been here less than three years, and I remember those threads!
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Old 01-21-10, 10:44 AM   #17
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Haha, to be fair you're referencing when I was a senior in high school -- 4 years ago. I thought JSchen would be the only one to remember that
Wow, you are now all grown up! How long have I been here? And how old am I, anyway?
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Old 01-21-10, 02:58 PM   #18
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I met a guy in engineering school who was planning on a law degree. Said he'd looked into it and specialty engineering lawyers get paid real well. Also, that after engineering school, law school should be a breeze.

I discount his last statement there a bit, but he seemed to have his knowledge together otherwise
.

So many people told me that with my graduate science degree, I should go into patent law. This is one of the traditional avenues for scientifically-trained lawyers. Another area is medical or scientific regulatory work or product liability.

And in my opinion, if you have halfway decent writing skills, law school is a breeze after a physical science education.
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Old 01-21-10, 03:01 PM   #19
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.

So many people told me that with my graduate science degree, I should go into patent law. This is one of the traditional avenues for scientifically-trained lawyers. Another area is medical or scientific regulatory work or product liability.

And in my opinion, if you have halfway decent writing skills, law school is a breeze after a physical science education.
Since you have the Economics major, have you considered doing a joint MBA/JD? Most universities that have both a law school and a business school allow one to do both degrees at the same time, counting some of your electives towards both. It is said to be a powerful combination.
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Old 01-21-10, 03:10 PM   #20
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.So many people told me that with my graduate science degree, I should go into patent law. This is one of the traditional avenues for scientifically-trained lawyers. Another area is medical or scientific regulatory work or product liability.
My wife looked into that. It didn't happen.
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Old 01-21-10, 04:12 PM   #21
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For the OP, I forgot to mention something important: as you may or may not know, the legal market is in the toilet right now. Depending on where you are and the area of law, there is a lack of work and an oversupply of lawyers. The consensus is that it will take years for the market to recover, especially if you want to do BigLaw back on the East Coast.
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Old 01-21-10, 04:46 PM   #22
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I wasn't aware that the legal market is in the toilet right now, thanks for telling me! I obviously need to make myself equitable, after all, especially since I'm graduating with a BA from a liberal arts college. IMO liberal arts colleges provide the best preparation for "life" but don't necessarily make one the most marketable; I'm counting on post-undergrad training for that.

If it takes 3 years to finish law school, then I'd be out in 4 total, by which time it doesn't sound like the market will have much room for me. I did consider looking into an MBA, but professors tell me it's best to work a few years before going to business school. I'm afraid that I wont want to go back to school if I stop for a few years, as such I was hoping to be in school the year after I graduate.

One professor of mine is insistent that I should pursue industrial engineering.
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Old 01-21-10, 04:50 PM   #23
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I wasn't aware that the legal market is in the toilet right now, thanks for telling me! I obviously need to make myself equitable, after all, especially since I'm graduating with a BA from a liberal arts college. IMO liberal arts colleges provide the best preparation for "life" but don't necessarily make one the most marketable; I'm counting on post-undergrad training for that.

If it takes 3 years to finish law school, then I'd be out in 4 total, by which time it doesn't sound like the market will have much room for me. I did consider looking into an MBA, but professors tell me it's best to work a few years before going to business school. I'm afraid that I wont want to go back to school if I stop for a few years, as such I was hoping to be in school the year after I graduate.

One professor of mine is insistent that I should pursue industrial engineering.
..
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Old 01-21-10, 05:05 PM   #24
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I wasn't aware that the legal market is in the toilet right now, thanks for telling me! I obviously need to make myself equitable, after all, especially since I'm graduating with a BA from a liberal arts college. IMO liberal arts colleges provide the best preparation for "life" but don't necessarily make one the most marketable; I'm counting on post-undergrad training for that.

If it takes 3 years to finish law school, then I'd be out in 4 total, by which time it doesn't sound like the market will have much room for me. I did consider looking into an MBA, but professors tell me it's best to work a few years before going to business school. I'm afraid that I wont want to go back to school if I stop for a few years, as such I was hoping to be in school the year after I graduate.

One professor of mine is insistent that I should pursue industrial engineering.
FYI the way the profession is now, don't go to law school unless you: got into a top school, are on a full ride, or "have always wanted to be a lawyer"
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Old 01-21-10, 05:31 PM   #25
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www.law.com and and www.abajournal.com are two excellent websites that stay abreast of current legal news. Much of the current legal news these days centers around hiring, or the lack thereof. If you have access to the Wall Street Journal, their Law Blog also has some good stories on the job market.

An interesting story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/17/fashion/17lawyer.html

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