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Messages - Jittery

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Non-Traditional Students / Re: Should we really go into law?
« on: January 17, 2010, 11:16:27 PM »
In another post I asked if I'd be wasting my time even going through the law school application process given my 2.0 GPA, 160 LSAT (based on practice test results) and other background stats.

The flow chart in this thread provides a good dose of reality. There was a big part of me hoping for some encouragement, but just as big a part of me wanted an honest and realistic assessment of my law school and career prospects. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it can also put you out of your misery. I don't think I'll be investing in any LSAT prep programs or in any other way participating in the law school application process at this point, even though it is my strong desire to become an attorney.

Unlike most law school programs that I'm aware of, there are many graduate school programs that are willing to overlook some of the shortcomings in your undergraduate transcript (for example: instead of looking at your overall GPA, they will consider your last 60 undergraduate credit hours if that helps you). For someone in my position this may be the best viable option especially if law school doesn't appear to be an option.

Another comment I wanted to make, specifically with respect to potential law school candidates who do have impressive GPAs, LSATs and other background stats is that if you are passionate about becoming a lawyer, you should take that into consideration when calculating a Benefit-Cost ratio of your prospects. There may be too many lawyers mainly because there are too many hacks, ambulance chasers and mediocre cookie-cutter attorneys but I feel very strongly that there is always room in the legal profession for good attorneys with talent and passion.


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Hi delb706

I'm going to go ahead and respond to your message even though I know nothing about accounting or tax law. I know nothing about accounting/tax law academically, nor do I know anything about the tax law industry. I'm going to give you my 2 cents worth (it may not even be worth that much) in a pull no punches brutally honest way. Even if my post is of no value in and of itself, maybe someone who knows what he or she is talking about will be inspired to respond.

IMO, your age will hurt your employment prospects with many firms, especially considering the fact that at 52 or so (your age when finishing law school) you obviously wouldn't have accumulated the same amount of relevant professional experience that others your age in the industry have.

On the other hand, if you work during the day while you attend law school at night, you still will have had several years of professional experience in accounting by the time you get your JD, which would put you ahead of many other "entry level" candidates. Additionally, what you may lack in professional experience at the age of 52 or so, you can partially offset by the amount of life experience you have. I don't know what you did before the age of 45, but at the very least that life experience has given you some degree of maturity and wisdom. Another thought is that at 52, you will still have more than a decade of work experience left to give before you reach 65 and if you plan on continuing to work until say, age 72, you will have had 2 decades of experience in a field that you presumably love. Many pro athletes wish they could have played for 20 years before retiring and military personnel tend to end things after they put in their 20 years.

If you can financially justify getting a law degree (your projected salary will offset other costs over the course of your career) why not go for it, especially if you are passionate about becoming an attorney. As I said earlier, many firms will unofficially disqualify you from consideration based on your age, but many others will not and some may see your age as a plus.



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oceansmarine I appreciate the fact that you responded to my message.

I am aware of the LSAC and LSDAS services. What I would like to know is if it turns out that my "leveraged" GPA is 2.0 or so, and the best LSAT scores I'm capable of getting are in the 160 range, what are my law school prospects?

I have not talked to any experts on the subject and would prefer finding out without having to pay the LSAC and wait several weeks.

Here's what I think my situation is (perhaps you and others on this board could comment on this). My assumed 2.0 "leveraged" GPA and 160 LSAT eliminate me from serious consideration by all but the very lowest ranking, least prestigious law schools -- and there's no guarantee that I'd even be able to get into any of them. The fact that I was in what many may consider to be a hard major (physics) is not a significant factor to most law schools, nor is the fact that I finished the second half of my undergraduate academic career as a 3.34 GPA student - only my "leveraged" 2.0 GPA and assumed 160 LSAT score would really matter.

With this in mind, I would be fortunate to get into a bottom of the barrel law school, probably the kind of law school that produces graduates that are only employed locally and with relatively low salaries because they are consistently beat out for jobs in more populated areas by graduates of more prestigious law schools. 

Does this sound about right?

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I very much want to become a lawyer but I fear that my poor undergraduate GPA (the absolute minimum for graduation, 2.0) and likely mediocre LSAT score (my practice test scores are in the low 160s even though I haven't taken the actual exam yet) give me only 2 chances of getting into law school: slim and none.

2.0 GPA: I wasted my time early in my undergraduate career at a big state u and boozed it up while I was dismissed for poor scholarship - a few years later I returned to the university and earned a 3.34 GPA after returning which lifted my overall average to a 2.04 GPA, not enough to graduate Summa, Magna or just plain old Cum Laude, but just by the skin of my teeth "Thank you Lordy" with my bachelor's degree in physics.

I really want to become a patent/intellectual property lawyer but fear that my early undergraduate career will prevent me from getting into an accredited law school. Should I even bother taking the LSAT test, acquiring recommendations and going through the process of applying to law school, or would I be wiser to just save my time and energy and focus on other things in my life because I'll never be a lawyer in this lifetime?


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