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Does it make sense to go from engineering to law school?

superpig10000superpig10000 Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
edited April 2007 in Law School
I will probably be pursuing a BSE degree at Princeton but I don't plan on being an engineer my whole life. I want to go into either business or law so I'm weighing my options. I have heard of many undergraduate engineers getting an MBA but not laws.

Also, will majoring in engineering hurt my chances of getting into top law/business schools considering engineering's difficulty and Princeton's grade deflation?
Post edited by superpig10000 on

Replies to: Does it make sense to go from engineering to law school?

  • WingZer0WingZer0 Registered User Posts: 172 Junior Member
    yes, it makes sense. hard to believe, but engineers actually do best in law school, all that problem solving and analytic thought is very useful in law school. get a decent gpa in engineering and the LSAT should be come to you on its own.
  • keywonkeywon Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    I work at UCLA's law school, and part of my job involves reading through lawyer profiles to look for alumni. I've read quite a couple who got a B.S. in engineering and then went on to get a JD.
  • jetski217jetski217 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    With an engineering degree and a JD (assuming you pass the state Bar and the Patent Bar) you can be incredibly successful as an IP attorney. As a 3L, I think its a wonderful route to take to law school.
  • joe.888joe.888 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    I am also an engineering student and would like to be a lawyer if it is still possible. Both my GPA and LSAT scores are good, but I am not sure if I could be admitted into a top ranked law school because of the mistake I made in my first year of college that I sincerely regret, that cumulated to a class B misdemeanor charge, that of theft. I understand the grave importance of a crime of moral turpitude, and I am very concerned as to how this may affect my ability to enroll in a law school. Is there any kind of information you can provide me on just how detrimental this record will have on my attempts to enroll?
  • s1185s1185 Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    of course. your engineering degree will allow you to do patent prosecution
  • dadofsamdadofsam Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    My advice is to major in enginering only if you wish to become an engineer, which you are presently doing,and to go to law school only if you wish to become a lawyer. Both are technically difficult and lengthy programs that you should take only if you are interested in the profession and not because it seems to be a good idea.

    A number of engineers go to law school afterwards, aiming at going into intellectual property law or another technically associated field such as construction law or environmental law. Other engineers take an MBA because they want to move more into business - either a business career in engineering or in some other type of business. Either program can be taken shortly after college graduation or at some time in the future.

    So decide - now or later - which program you want to enter - or neither.
  • Student615Student615 Registered User Posts: 1,885 Senior Member
    Like dadofsam said, both courses of study are intense enough that you shouldn't do them without some level of sincere interest. That said, if you have the interest and you like hard work, then yep...makes sense :-)

    I know two Harvey Mudd engineers with law school aspirations. One's considering IP, the other's considering immigration law. The former's doing engineering now because he loves the classes but has very little interest in industry. The latter just has fast-changing interests.

    To each his own. Also, there's a pinned discussion about IP law. You might want to check it out given a lot of the advice here.
  • CareerChangeCareerChange Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    OP,
    I would like to offer my slant on this since I am an engineer and I will be starting law school this fall (I have just been through the admissions process). I think I would have been better off relative to admissions majoring in something else. I haven’t seen any evidence schools are treating my relatively low engineering GPA any different than any other relatively low GPA.

    Career wise, I hope to practice construction law, and, after law school, I expect my engineering background will prove advantageous. In the end, I will never know if I would have been better off with another major, but I place a lot of value in having an engineering career to fall back on if necessary.
  • nove1689nove1689 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    I wanna be an Entrepreneur/Venture Capitalist. Entering technical school at Kettering University with major in Electrical engineering and minor in Pre-law. I wanna go to Stanford for Grad school: Dual degree of JD+MBA. You guys sound like you have some decent advice. Any for me?
  • OldPersonOldPerson Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    No. Not for aptent law.Many patent lawyers are engineers. (If you look at the qualifications for patent law, you have to have to major in engineering or the sciences.) you can not become ome if you are a poly sci major.
  • dadofsamdadofsam Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    Novel1689: Some engineering schools are beginning to offer courses in entrepreneurship, in collaboration with a business school or department. If Kettering does not offer one, perhaps you can take one during the summer at another school. Check schools and schedules.
  • CC AdminCC Admin Administrator Posts: 32,337 Senior Member
    novel,

    if your goal is to be an entrepreneur, I think a JD/MBA program is a bad idea.

    the driving force behind many startups is technology. you-tube, google, microsoft, etc etc...new inventions. on this note, your best path is to take a technical job or go to grad school and hope for some "inspiration" for that next big idea. just make sure you are bill gates, not tim patterson (tim patterson wrote MS-DOS and sold it to gates/allen for 25k. gates/allen then proceeded to make billions)

    while you need law and business knowledge to get this started, it is most efficiently "outsourced". ex hire a patent lawyer for patents, a business lawyer to help you incorporate, an accountant to do your taxes...

    JD/MBA will surely give you the "golden handcuffs". you will be forced to work for a law firm to pay off four years of tuition debt. and at stanford, expensive tuition debt. meanwhile you will meet a wife (or husband), marry, have kids..and all of the sudden you are a bona fide lawyer for life.

    if you take a tech job in silicon valley, you would be exposed to other like-minded technical folks (no one wants to work for the man), hopefully befriend a few, and do some crazy start-up. you would have less debt, more time before the "american dream", etc.
  • stoneimmaculatestoneimmaculate - Posts: 619 Member
    You could basically major in anything from a top school like Princeton and have unlimited options, including law. I would think that a person from P with an engineering degree and a 3.5+ would be far more desirable than someone who majored in PS at a state school; that is assuming that all the other factors are similar.

    Engineering is a tough major so showing that you can thrive in such an intense academic environment would mean that you could get a prestigious job/degree almost anywhere.
This discussion has been closed.