Good Major for Law School

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Haloid1177, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    First off, I'm a junior in high school, so this isn't a decision I have to make now.

    Anyways, I feel confident I would like a career in law. Whether that be to actually become a true lawyer or help a career in politics, I do not know yet. My question is, what should I major in before that? I would like something that could both help me in law school, but also allow for a decent job if I changed my mind. My first dream was to be a computer engineer, but math is not my strong point. That being said, economics is a field I could be interested in. Studies suggest that lawyers with a degree in economics earn between $5000-$10000 more a year. I know that degrees such as political sciences and philosophy probably provide more support, and while I might like political sciences, it doesn't allow for much of a job outside of going to law school, unlike an economics or business major.

    So, um, opinions? Help? Thanks guys.
     
  2. TFW10

    TFW10 Well-Known Member

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    criminal justice
     
  3. ShiroPrime

    ShiroPrime blargh

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    This is exactly what I'm doing. As a junior in college let me give you some advice.

    First off (assuming you live in the same country as I do), keep in mind the economy isn't doing so hot, graduate students are finding it harder and harder to get employed at some law firms. While it's okay to take Pre-law as a major, I strongly recommend you take another major that you feel comfortable with, to act as a "cushion" of sorts. Law School accepts students with varying degrees: Criminal Justice, Business, Accounting, Political Science, and History (to name a few). It will mainly be your GPA, and your LSAT scores that will determine whether you get accepted into Law School or not.

    I took criminal justice as a major for different reasons. A) I'm a lazy, poorly-educated rat bastard that wanted to take the easy road :lol  B) I realize after getting out of this rat-cage, I will still need to pay for Law School, a Pre-Law degree will do very little for me in this regard. C) As I stated before, God forbid things don't go as planned, then at least this entire ordeal wasn't a complete waste.

    To briefly sum it up, if you feel confident taking Pre-Law as a major, go for it! If not, I strongly recommend you take a major which will assist you in getting admitted into Law School. Be sure it's a major (and minor) you know you will like, and one you can handle. I took English as a minor, knowing it wasn't one my strong points, and now I'm paying very dearly for it. But I hope this helps, good luck in whatever you choose!

    Oh, and I was told lawyers also make a pretty penny dealing with ticket-courts. :p 
     
  4. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    If your initial passion was computer engineering, perhaps patent law may be an option? I have a friend got a degree as an undergrad in computer science then went back to law school for patent law.

    He gets paid quite a lot but like many other law jobs the pay is great but the hours are tedious.

    Most of my other law friends are in contract law.
     
  5. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    This. Try to decide what kind of law you want to focus in, and gear your major towards that. Criminal law? Social Sciences. Business and Corporate Law? Commerce. Patent Law? Engineering. etc. etc. etc.

    If you find during your undergrad that you're not happy, however, remember that you CAN transfer.
     
  6. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    Corporate law would most likely be my preferred area. Hence economics or business.
     
  7. KA

    KA Well-Known Member

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    Take matlock studies.
     
  8. thecollector

    thecollector Fluffernutter Admirer

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    As long as we're talking about law classes, what would you guys suggest for law enforcement? I'm only in 10th grade, but I'd like to get an idea of what I'm going to have to do to get in the many career paths I'm considering (Video game design, Airline pilot, psychology, justice, and a few others).
     
  9. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

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    As someone that did this, I'd say NO to Criminal Justice. Lawyers are writers, you need to select a major that is writing intensive. CJ isn't going to get you into the top tier law schools that you'll need to be in if you want to be a corporate lawyer. You can make a decent living going to a lower tier school, but I'd shadow a lawyer before making any type of decisions.

    I didn't do this, I thought 100% "I'm going to be a lawyer". After shadowing them and getting feedback from all my graduate professors; I was turned off 100%. It's a ruthless field and the market is COMPLETELY saturated with lawyers. Hence, the number of lawsuits popping up regarding job placement. If you go to a top tier school, employment won't be an issue. HOWEVER, once you start talking 2-3-4 tier schools, you'll get a degree with a TON of debt and LOW pay... like 40 starting.

    UM, St. Thomas law schools subject of fraud lawsuit - Schools - MiamiHerald.com

    I'd say, follow your passion. I got my degree in Political Science and its served me well, but I also got a graduate degree in Criminal Justice.

    Computers man..... Computer Science, right out of school, a CS job in the public sector pays 70G a year. Something to consider if you already love Computers and are considering Computer Engineering.

    Send me a PM if you want to talk more, I took the LSAT and scored a 165. Not bad but my scholarship options were few and far between. Couldn't risk anymore debt.
     
  10. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    You can be a cop by riding a long for a specified amount of time in some places otherwise I believe 6 months of police training at a local academy or college. This is all info I found out in the Michigan, indiana, Illinois area.

    If you want to be a crime scene then forensic science is nice. Had a friend who graduated with a degree in that...jobs, ain't that abundant. She has since gotten a degree in social work and has a job in social work. Hurrah.
     
  11. ShiroPrime

    ShiroPrime blargh

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    You practice law Aernaroth? All this time I thought you were a scientist.
     
  12. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I don't practice law, though I have a few friends who do.

    ChrisR291 makes some good points about the current competitive nature of the legal field, from what I've seen, as well.
     
  13. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    :lol  I didn't read through the whole thread but I had to stop and post at your philosophy degree remark, please bro, don't go the philosophy route. I have a cousin with a degree in that and he drives the city bus. (No, I'm not kidding.)
    I have to give it up to you though; you're very smart to be thinking of your future at your age.

    If you truly want to do something in law, are you thinking something like Justice Studies or actual Law School like Harvard? That's really what you need to nail down. I wanted to get into forensic archaeology but I started looking at the costs of tuition and I had to rethink what was financially feasible. Making house payments on a student loan and eating ramen noodles for dinner while living in your parent's basement are a reality with today's soaring costs in tuition. Which is the reason why I'm trying to figure out Nursing School or finish out my Justice Studies degree. I'm not saying this to be cruel, it's only the voice of experience, so make sure this is really what you want and you know what exactly it is you're getting yourself into on the back end when the bill comes due.

    I had one more thought to add to this and that thought is for everyone: what ever degree you do choose to pursue make its a marketable degree. In other words don't place yourself into such a niche with your studies that you cannot find any work.

    Best of Luck to all of us looking to either go or go back to the old schoolhouse for that brass ring.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  14. ShiroPrime

    ShiroPrime blargh

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    Ah I see, I only ask because I myself have some questions.
     
  15. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I'm pretty sure I live in a different country than you, and that the systems of law are different enough that there's a good chance I couldn't answer them if they pertain to the nuts and bolts of getting/holding an articleing position or an actual lawyering job. Sorry.



    To the OP, is there anyone you know doing the kind of things you want, either as a lawyer or a software/computer engineer? You could talk to them about the industry and their education, and that might be helpful. Or see if you can talk to the chairs/profs of programs you're interested in at university/college.
     
  16. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    If you want to go the corporate law route, make sure you're ready for the endless hours. Work pretty much becomes your life with little time for anything else. You could be paid a LOT depending on what firm you work for which means you could retire early if you squirrel your money away correctly. However, family, friends, etc are pretty much all secondary to work.

    I have quite a few friends who went the corporate law route as they came out of undergrad, couldn't find a job, went back to school to get a law degree and then signed their life away to a law firm. One of my closest friends graduated from UC Berkeley with a Econ degree and went to UPenn Law and regrets it as he can't spend any time with his wife and kid. He's been delivered paperwork to go over at ungodly hours on a Sunday while living in NYC. There's no getting off work. You're pretty much on the clock all the time.

    Same with another close friend of mine who graduated UC Berkeley in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and went Santa Clara University on a full ride to get his Patent Law degree. His wife is also works for a corporate law firm and they barely see each other, let alone their son. There was this one instance when my buddy didn't go home for three straight days. He was locked in a room with a bunch of other guys at work trying to get a contract done. Not even time to go home to shower. :lol 
     
  17. AngryChad

    AngryChad Well-Known Member

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    How many studies and articles have to be authored before people stop pouring into this over-saturated career field? I know probably dozens of people who made it through the bar examination but no longer practice. Actually there's one guy, but he's kind of a hippie and it doesn't matter to him that he's on the road 9 months out of the year and doesn't make any money.

    Another field no one should ever go into - architecture. I mean unless you think you'll enjoy working at coffee shops making student loan payments for the rest of your life.

    My advice - any kind of software development. The job pool is (and has been for many years) huge no matter where you live, and demand is expected to increase almost exponentially for the foreseeable future.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  18. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    Look, I'm already good with computers. It's my current summer job and sometimes weekend job. The problem is, I would never get a degree because I know I won't pass all the math classes. I'm good at writing, not at numbers. Heck, I am enrolled for a programming language class online that starts the 16th. But the college computer courses, as far as I can tell, would kick my ass.

    As for my plan, I will probably end up doing my first four years at LSU, then going to law school at Standford, Yale, Princeton, Burkley, Harvard, etc. LSU has a good law school, but not good enough for me. I'm generally good at school, over a 4.0 now, so I feel like I could make it to one of them.

    And thanks for all the help guys. This is actually quite insightful.
     
  19. ShiroPrime

    ShiroPrime blargh

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    Nah don't worry about, I'm not concerned with getting an actual job (right now) I'm too preoccupied with my current semester. My questions pertain as to how should I go about dealing with a certain section of the LSAT, and other various prospects- but like you said, I guess I should PM chrisr291.
     

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