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Getting Into law School... Difficult?

karuptkarupt Posts: 317Registered User Member
edited June 2006 in Law School
I'm currently a junior at highschool. My GPA isn't that great, I'm a 3.44 student, and to be honest with you, I'm not exactly "hard-working."

But my passion is in political science and my dream is to become a successful lawyer. I know that most people that study political science aim to end up in law school.

So here's my question: is it hard to get into law school? Is it EXTREMELY difficult?

My worries is that I'd still be studying to pass the test to get into law school when I'm like 40 years old or something.

Please help, I don't know much.
Post edited by karupt on
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Replies to: Getting Into law School... Difficult?

  • unbelievablemunbelievablem Posts: 1,185Registered User Senior Member
    But my passion is in political science and my dream is to become a successful lawyer. I know that most people that study political science aim to end up in law school.

    First -- don't be so fast to equate political science with a career in law.

    Second -- it depends on whether you want to just go to a law school or go to a "good" law school. admission to the top law schools is very competitive and you need high gpa and high lsat score.

    Third -- if you are now just a junior in high school, the greatest advise you can get about going to law school is to give yourself time to learn whether you will really want to do that or not -- other than just the fact that you like political science and seem to think that leads necessarily to law school. Politcs, government, social policy are the stuff of political science. While many lawyers end up being involved in government and politics, the every day practice of law doesn't necessarily have that much to do with government (unless of course you are in certain specific fields of law).

    there is no required undergraduate program for law school - you can study ANYTHING and go to law school. so use your college years to explore what it is you really want to do -- if you love political science, allow yourself to explore what other career opportunities this may allow for. but also try some other things -- there are all sorts of things out there you probably haven't even thought about -- college is the time for such exploration. you have PLENTY of time to decide whether law school is right for you. you can even work for years, or do graduate study and still decide at a later time to law school.

    And Finally -- you describe yourself as not that hard working. Well, law students AND lawyers work hard. So really stop and think about whether that career path is suited for you.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Posts: 5,032Registered User Senior Member
    you describe yourself as not that hard working. Well, law students AND lawyers work hard. So really stop and think about whether that career path is suited for you.
    Could not agree more. Even if you don't do the big-firm route, you'll have to work hard. Law school is a LOT of work, and there are no shortcuts. There's a lot of reading, all of which is important.

    Also, if you are a junior in high school, you should be more worried about where you are going to college and what you are doing there than be worried about law school. The best thing you can do for yourself is to maintain a high GPA in college, then consider law school when the time comes.
  • MicklerobeMicklerobe Posts: 64Registered User Junior Member
    I'm a senior in high school and headed to Washington and Lee next year, and I also have law school as a future path for me in the back of my mind. What I want to know is if what you study in college dictates what kind of law you can later get into. For example, if I ever have an interest in Patent law, will I be shut out of that if I have relatively little backround in math or sciences? I may very well major in journalism and maybe double major or minor in something like philosophy/econ/poly sci. Would a journalism major be looked favorably on by law schools, and in all honesty, how hard do you have to work as a undergrad to achieve a GPA that would give you a shot at a a truely top notch law school? Is it a social life sacrificing effort, or can I still go out on weekends and party on a regular basis?
  • caliphariuscalipharius Posts: 456Registered User Member
    1) You probably want a B.S. if you are interested in patent law.
    2) The difficulty of achieving a good GPA varries greatly from school to school, and from major to major. You will need somewhere north of a 3.5 GPA to be competitive for top-tier law schools, so you will likely have to work pretty hard. The word on the street is that law schools do not care what your major is, as long as it is not "pre-law" or something laughable.

    A poly-sci major, though? I think you should just stick to a single science, trying to study multiple sciences at once could have an adverse effect on your GPA. =)
  • skirbyyskirbyy Posts: 142Registered User Junior Member
    Micklerobe, I'm currently at W&L. You'll be joining a large group of folks who are aiming for law schools. I know of a few seniors who got in at Yale and Harvard Law, so don't worry about W&L hurting you-just do exceptionally well here (like you would have to do at any other great university) and you have a shot.

    Also, don't party too hard your first fall term here, or your GPA will defiantely be in the crapper. Be sure to take easy classes your first Winter term if you plan on pledging-at W&L it's old school and it dominates your life for 8 out of the 12 weeks.
  • HImomHImom Posts: 19,006Registered User Senior Member
    For patent law, it would definitely be helpful to have a strong science background. For all fields of law, it is helpful to be able to have great reading comprehension & the ability to write well & concisely. Being able to "think on your feet" and argue persuasively is another good tool--debating can be helpful.

    Most folks take a broad range of courses in law school before settling into the field they end up in. If they really want to go further, they can get a LLM, but most just get their JD, pass the bar & start working to earn some money.
  • M.B.A./FinanceM.B.A./Finance Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
    would anyone consider brooklyn law and fsu good law schools?
  • parent2nolesparent2noles Posts: 7,957Registered User Senior Member
    The FSU law school is currently rated 53rd in the US and jumped about 14 schools in the last two years. I'd say it's trajectory is climbing upward.

    It's Environmental Law section is rated 14th in the US.

    This suggests it is indeed 'good'.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Posts: 5,032Registered User Senior Member
    1. I'm unsure of why you would want to go into patent law if you don't like science enough to take a few courses in it during your undergrad.

    2. FSU and Brooklyn are certainly good schools. I would not look to a rapid climb, however, as a sign of a school improving; such a climb is usually attributable to a school that changes itself to improve rankings. It might stop admitting talented students who lack the stats, for example.

    Also, there is no reason why you should look at both Brooklyn and FSU seriously. Both are very strong in their region, but you'll have a hard time taking that degree elsewhere.
  • MicklerobeMicklerobe Posts: 64Registered User Junior Member
    Clearly my interest in patent law stems from a bottomless pit of materialism that exists within me. It's one of the top paying fields of law and a great path towards meeting my goals in life of buying an island of all my own and sharing it with my trophy wife who likes me only because I drive a Ferrari. How you couldn't deduce this is beyond me. Just kidding, sort of. I was just throwing it out there as an example. Although I think that field of law would be more interesting than a lot of other fields, but perhaps it's not up my alley. You're right on that front.
  • karuptkarupt Posts: 317Registered User Member
    Well, I'm planning just to major in Economics now because I heard majoring in poli sci without going into law isn't that great for a career path.

    But I still want to know, is it hard to get into a law school? A decent law school or any law school that will help me become a successful lawyer?

    My worry is that I'm like 30 and still haven't passed the BAR test or something.
  • unbelievablemunbelievablem Posts: 1,185Registered User Senior Member
    it is hard to get into law school if you are going to continue to be "not exactly 'hard-working.'" it is impossible to become s "successful lawyer" if you are not willing to work hard and apply yourself

    in the span of a day, you have decided to major in economics rather than political science even though it is supposedly your passion because you've heard there isn't a good path for it without law school when you haven't even given yourself a chance to explore either option in college.

    if you really want to be a "successful lawyer," stop looking for fast easy answers and be willing to work for what you want.
  • bizymombizymom Posts: 197Registered User Junior Member
    go to college - find what you want to study - work hard - and then in a couple of years think about whether you want law school. you will never get a clear answer now as to how hard or easy it will be for you until you see how you are going to do in college.
  • HImomHImom Posts: 19,006Registered User Senior Member
    Gotta say, for me, HS & college were MUCH easier than law school. The workload & competition is much keener & everyone at law school used to being the best (or very close to it). I've not met too many folks who are able to slack much at all & get into a good law school. Even after law school, to be a good attorney (or even an employed one), you need to work hard--in the early years, VERY HARD & long hours. If that doesn't appeal to you, this may not be a good career path, but the hard work leading to success what I've seen in all careers--even food service & other "less glamorous" fields.
  • sallyawpsallyawp Posts: 2,059Registered User Senior Member
    As a practicing lawyer, I agree completely with ariesathena and HImom. Law school and practicing law take a lot of dedication and hard work. That said, in the hypercompetitive business world today, so do most careers. Brooklyn Law and FSU are good regional law schools, but you will have a more difficult journey making a degree from those schools work for you outside of the geographic region where these schools are located. It's not impossible, just tougher. Don't fool yourself into thinking that a school that is not a top 20 school will be easy, because it won't. Law school is tough, law professors are demanding, the socratic method is a killer if you are unprepared and the volumes of reading and writing that you are expected to do are enormous at every law school.
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