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Computer Science Undergraduate and Law School

InnovativeBoxxInnovativeBoxx Posts: 193Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2008 in Law School
I'm interested in practicing patent/IP law, as I have interests in the law and computer science (CS).

I have been told that CS will better prepare an individual for law school because of the intensive critical and analytical (logical) thinking needed to acquire the CS degree. Essentially, this is an science/engineering major, so anyone who does well as an undergraduate can also (as in having the ability to) do well on the LSAT and law school.

I'm aware that CS students (as well as other engineering students) have typically have lower GPAs than their classmates because of the difficulty of the curriculum, but I thought about acquiring a second degree, a bachelor's in business administration (BBA) to counteract the expected comprise in my GPA as a CS undergraduate.

I'm aware that a student's GPA is the second most important factor in law school admissions (with the LSAT exam being the first).

I think this is a good strategy because I address the LSAT and law school performance by developing critical logic and reasoning skills as a CS major, and I address the expected GPA compromise by also acquiring a BBA degree, which is a multifaceted subject that I'm already studying with great interest.

Thoughts on this?
Post edited by InnovativeBoxx on

Replies to: Computer Science Undergraduate and Law School

  • Physics08Physics08 Posts: 978Registered User Member
    I understand your strategy but you probably should also take into account that taking on a second major will strain time that you could be putting into your CS coursework. Courses from two disparate fields taken in unison could actually lower your GPA. CS is not necessarily very difficult, but very time consuming. Business classes, while quite a bit easier than CS, shouldn't be taken for granted as automatic A's.
  • drusbadrusba Posts: 7,841Registered User Senior Member
    Not sure what you mean. Do you mean getting double major/degree at same school, same time, or getting one degree and then going on to complete another degree. The second usually is not allowed by colleges, and first one really makes no sense for law school and can result in college, because of the course load, in getting a lower GPA than if you just tried for one degree. Best, pursue one major/one degree; if desire to "pad" GPA because of difficulty of major, do it by taking humanities, social science, or other courses that can count toward total hours required, and in which you can grade well (and I emphasize ones you know you can do well because I have known many an engineering student who has not graded well in humanities, social science or like courses while doing very well in science, math and engineering courses).

    As to computer science/engineering and admission to law school, yes, many law schools consider that GPA can be lower in those majors (and some add anywhere from .2 to .5 to your GPA). Yes, they give you a thinking process that can help in law school (but it is still different), but no, they don't guarantee getting a high LSAT. The downside of many engineering law school applicants is that they do not always develop in college writing skills as good as many humanities majors; they may score well on LSAT in logic but not reading sections and the writing sample they give in the test can be poor, and law schools consider writing ability important for admission.
  • InnovativeBoxxInnovativeBoxx Posts: 193Registered User Junior Member
    ^Physics08, thanks for your reply. Actually, there really won't be any problem with "straining time [that I could be] putting into CS coursework" because of the way the programs are formatted. SMU's Cox School of Business undergraduate degree and the the university's engineering school do share some general curriculum courses, but it's not easy to 'blend' their acquisition processes. Do you see what I mean? The two degrees can't really be taken in unison, therefore I prevent potential damage to my GPA. If I do acquire the two degrees, it would mean taking summer courses as well as another academic year before graduating with the two degrees. And no, I would not take business courses for granted, especially from SMU - the program is highly ranked and is certainly not a 'cakewalk' but far less demanding or time-consuming than CS.

    I also want to acquire the business degree to have a multifaceted approach for law: patent/IP law and (small) business law.

    Drusba, I'm simply planning to acquire both degrees before graduating from the same school. I will admit I'll have to run this 'strategy' of mine before school advisers and that will be in February at SMU's "Transfer Stampede."

    No, I do not equate doing well in CS to having a guarantee to doing well on the LSAT. With proper studying, I think I can do well. The CS courses will further enable me to do well on the logic and I do write fairly well, being able to communicate thoughts well. I'm not sure what the reading section encompasses, but I'll probably spend a greater amount of studying time towards it.
  • InnovativeBoxxInnovativeBoxx Posts: 193Registered User Junior Member
    Oh, and I'm a minority. Does that have any bearing in law school admissions?
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