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Pursuing a Masters before Law School

solostishsolostish Registered User Posts: 310 Member
Hi everyone,

I just graduated from UCLA and am taking the LSAT soon (February). I am applying to top law programs including Yale, and am trying to do whatever it takes to get in. I hope to pursue corporate law, and eventually want to pursue real estate.
My marks are good: I'm summa cum laude, honors college, 3.97 GPA, some internship experience, and have optimal leadership experience. I also graduated from college in two years. Currently, I'm studying in an American Yeshiva in Jerusalem (essentially, a Jewish learning fellowship).

Would a masters in finance greatly increase my chances at getting into top law programs? I am applying to a few schools in Israel as well as Oxford's MSc in Law and Finance and another finance program at Cambridge. I'm hoping that finance will give me a leg up in law school admissions, and while applying to business law firms. Also independent finance experience will help me in real estate development. Besides wasting a year, my biggest concern is the $45,000 tuition at many of these schools. That's by far the largest obstacle for me. I'm low income. So I'm deciding if, from a financial angle, if this would be worth it? If I worked instead, I would be entering law school with money, rather than in at least $45,000 in debt.

Do you guys think that a masters program would be substantially better than another year doing something else (another year of yeshiva, interning for a politician, working as a consultant, etc.)? By the way, I applied to many different financial internship programs at BCG, Baine, JPMorgan, etc.. so I do plan on having at least some sort of finance experience.

Thank you so much for the help.

Replies to: Pursuing a Masters before Law School

  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    You'd definitely need to be doing something for a few years before attending a top law school, due to your (1) young age (I assume you are 2 years younger than most people who just graduated from UCLA) and (2) preferences by some top law schools for experience between undergrad and law school, so you're on the right track.

    I'd think that working somewhere, in your expected career field, would be as useful as a master's, if not more useful. So, no, $45,000 would not be worth it. If you have a 170+ LSAT score (which I would think would be feasible for you), I'd think that you'd get in most everywhere, with some work experience.
  • Demosthenes49Demosthenes49 Registered User Posts: 1,489 Senior Member
    Masters will have no effect whatsoever on law school admission in the U.S. I don't really see firms caring much about it either. Trade that Masters for some work experience in finance, however, and firms will take note. Firms like work experience, especially from someone younger than their usual applicants.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,536 Senior Member
    You don't need a master's to go to a top law school. I'd only pursue that road if you find it interesting, can afford the extra schooling, and know that you want to go into some type of corporate finance law.

    And while many do get some work experience first, it is possible for a truly outstanding candidate to get into a top law school right after college. My D had college friends who got into Stanford and Columbia respectively directly after college graduation (both did have summer experience at a law firms, outstanding college careers, and great LSATs). Yale's website says that 16% of its class is directly out of undergrad.
  • APOLAPOL Registered User Posts: 1,780 Senior Member
    I am inclined to agree with the other posters. Working for a couple of years-in a field you are passionate about-may give you an edge in admissions. Getting a masters prior to law school in the US will not give you that edge you seek.
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