Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Grad School before Law School?

popcorn78573popcorn78573 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited July 17 in Graduate School
I'm currently a Junior (age 21) at a university majoring in Criminal Justice with an overall GPA of 2.91. I don't plan on graduating for another 2 years so I can boost my GPA to what I plan on a 3.3-3.6. I've been thinking a lot lately if I should go straight for my Masters Degree after I graduate college to study International Relations with a focus of Security. But my main goal is to become a Lawyer and go to Law School. Is it a good idea to get my masters then go to law school, or go straight to law school? I'll be 23 when I graduate from college with my bachelors degree and I don't feel qualified for law school so I was hoping a masters degree will help prep me and I also really enjoy International Affairs/Security. I'm just worried about the outcome when receiving my masters degree, will it be a waste of time to get my masters degree or will it only benefit me in the long run? Will the masters degree open more doors for me with government jobs? Thank you in advance

Replies to: Grad School before Law School?

  • BeaudreauBeaudreau Registered User Posts: 1,000 Senior Member
    @popcorn78573 - If you are confident that you can get into a decent law school, do not waste your time on a masters degree first. If you are still interested in international relations you could then study this at a law school, where everything would mesh with your legal training. A peculiarity of law is that the first degree is a juris-doctorate (JD) degree. Post-JD degrees are typically known as masters-of-law (LLM) degrees and typically take one more year. For example, a friend of mine got an LLM in in International Trade and Business Law. So if you still love international trade, you could still pursue it without losing any time, versus a masters first, JD second. And you may decide in law school that you don't really want a masters degree or perhaps another specialty fires you up more.

    There are all sorts of LLM subjects offered. Another friend got her law degree with just OK grades from a second-tier law school. After working for a few years and doing very well, she decided that she was really interested in corporate tax law. She got admitted to and earned an LLM from the top tax program in the U.S.- New York University. She could write her own ticket after that.

    See: https://www.lsac.org/llm/degree/key-facts - https://www.lsac.org/llm/degree/jd-llm-difference - https://llm-guide.com/schools/usa
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,579 Super Moderator
    Well, I think it depends. Do you actually want an MA in international affairs or would you just be getting one because you think it'll boost your chances or somehow prep you for law school?

    If you actually want one, then sure, it makes sense to get one first. There are lots of law school students who get master's degrees before going to law school.

    But if you think it's going to prep you for law school or help you get in, don't do it. As I understand it, academic MAs are quite different from law school. If you don't feel qualified for law school, it seems to be the best thing you can do is work in the legal field for a few years.

    Also, I think it's unlikely that you'll boost your GPA from a 2.91 to a 3.6 in just two years. Have you done the math to see what's possible?
  • popcorn78573popcorn78573 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    @juillet I've done the math. I'm pretty sure I can boost my GPA up to at least a 3.3-3.5 within two years including retaking classes and getting A's on most of my new classes if determined.
Sign In or Register to comment.