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Author Topic: Am I doing the Right Thing?  (Read 17946 times)

hdsteele

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2004, 09:33:25 AM »
On a more practical note... I believe the LSAT score is only good for 5 years.  Take it in your junior year and you risk not even being able to use the score to get into LS.  What if you have some time lapse between UG and LS?  Nothing wrong with practicing though...

Pub. Interest gal

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2004, 09:58:53 AM »
Attention all high school seniors: calm down! 

What concerns me is how many people say "How do I get into the best law school" as opposed to "I really want to be a lawyer" or "I really want to study the law".  Don't look down the road so much that you miss everything that is wonderful about the next few years. 

Yes, getting into law school is difficult, and I am sure reading this board has only stressed you out further, but the reality is that college is about SO much more than preparing for law school.  You are going to meet new people, learn new things, see the ways knowledge intersects on a whole variety of subjects, and if you are anything like most undergrads, your interests will change drastically over your 4 years.  If you love government, then major in that.  To get into law school, you need to get a good GPA and a great LSAT score. Spend your summers doing things that interest you, and if they help out your resume great- but if not, fine. Be involved at your school and your committment will come through on your application.  And yes... make friends with your professors, in that good letters of recommendation can make the difference.

And yes... you usually need some sort of degree to be a paralegal. 

Meltdown

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2004, 11:51:40 PM »
What concerns me is how many people say "How do I get into the best law school" as opposed to "I really want to be a lawyer" or "I really want to study the law".  Don't look down the road so much that you miss everything that is wonderful about the next few years.

Well said.

Also keep in mind that an LSAT score is only good for a finite number of years (I think three). Taking it too early may leave you in the unenviable position of having to retake it. And speaking from my own experience, I've only been studying it for a couple of months, and I already feel burned out a bit by it.

Enjoy life, work on the GPA and take classes that interest you, not that you think look good. Doing what you like always leads to success as opposed to doing what you think others want you to.

dsong02

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2004, 12:53:50 PM »

What concerns me is how many people say "How do I get into the best law school" as opposed to "I really want to be a lawyer" or "I really want to study the law".  Don't look down the road so much that you miss everything that is wonderful about the next few years. 

although i agree with you to an extent, i kinda like the 'how do i get into the best law school' outlook.  you cant infer from this question that the person doesnt know whether they want to become a lawyer or study law (dammit...my lsat studying skills just kicked in...somebody shoot me).  people in law tell prospective law school candidates to look to getting into the best law school they can, regardless of what field they want to study. 

its always good to understand how to get into the best...the next years are for learning whether you really want to choose to go down that road or not. 

just my 2 cents...
'why does it hurt so much when i poke it?'

dsong02

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2004, 12:59:18 PM »
Thanks for replying guys. :) But I have another question..is government considered a hard major because I'm planning to choose that as my major. & is it possible for a college student to get a job as a paralegal or do we need like work experience or prerequisite for it?

if youre asking because youre iffy about your major, then here is my advice:  you should determine your major based on your interest, not in terms of difficulty. 

if youre asking because you want to be prepared, then i have no answer because my school didnt offer government as a major.  but it sounds like a lot of reading, very much in line with poli sci...
'why does it hurt so much when i poke it?'

ttiwed

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2004, 01:53:34 AM »
Thanks for replying guys. :) But I have another question..is government considered a hard major because I'm planning to choose that as my major. & is it possible for a college student to get a job as a paralegal or do we need like work experience or prerequisite for it?

you need a paralegal certificate to be a paralegal. this will take about 6 months of full time study and you typically need a college degree before you are admitted into a paralegal program. if you are planning to go straight into law school from college, forget about being a paralegal or a legal secretary. try to get an internship with the state attorney generals office or the district attorneys office, etc. this way you can get some experience and earn college credit at the same time. as for your major, "hard" is a relative term. if you find reading dense text and writing a lot hard, then government/political science will be a "hard" major for you. if you liked civics or civil liberties class in high school, then that major shouldn't be too bad. you will learn a lot more about college majors from the generals you take your freshman year in college and from talking to your undergraduate advisor(s). good luck :)

Tyrant

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2004, 07:29:34 PM »
As you grow in your academic career and life your tastes and abilities will change. The point is, what you think is a good major now may change as your goals or stiuation in life change. No one can predict that. My sister went into college with a goal of Med School and came out with a masters in counseling, things change and you will too. Find something that you like, that plays to your personal strengths and that you should be able to find a job in if you don't go to law school. Not saying don't go to law school, just that the more options you have the more power you have over your life's direction. I know its early but if you know now what type of law you want to practice then that might influence what your major should be. If you want to do intellectual property law then you'll need a technical degree like engineering. However, an engineering degree is extremely hard track to follow and still come out with a very high GPA. Guard your GPA, go to class, study for tests, and do homework and extra credits. Yes also have fun and make new friends.


Todd

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2004, 04:55:43 PM »
One thing not mentioned so far is scholarships.  It would be really beneficial to begin looking at getting private scholarships now.  You may end up getting accepted into many schools, but only getting scholarships to the ones you really don't want to attend.  In fact you still have time to apply for scholarships for ugrad.  Receiving scholarships also looks great to admissions departments.  Ben Kaplan' "How To Go To College Almost For Free" is a great book (ISBN 0060937653).

Another idea.  Ask a local lawyer if you can work for them for a few months, even if for free.  If your not sure what being a lawyer is like, actually working for one will help you make a decision.  Don't worry about being a paralegal just be a general secretary.  Who knows you might end up with a job offer even before you go to law school.  Happened to me...

jacy85

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2004, 02:51:57 PM »
I'm seconding ttiwed's advice re: being a paralegal in college.  You need a college degree to even get certified.  But you do not necessarily need a certificate to be one.  Some firms will hire and train with out.

If you do find, after freshman year, that you want to see what it's like in the legal business, try to get an internship or a job in a law firm as a file clerk.  File Clerks will, on occasion, be hired part time.  It's definitely not glamorous (i know, I've been doing it full time since I graduated from BU last year)  but it gets you into a position to talk with lots of lawyers and get some potentially good work related recommendation.  In addition to this, I definitely had second thoughts about applying after seeing the workload these people carry, and how much time they put into their jobs, but once I got past that, and saw how much many of them loved their jobs, and how extremely dynamic being an attorney is.  *That's* something I can be passionate about.  So now that I've had this experience, I can say that yes, I really do want to go to law school, not jsut "well, I think so...not sure.."

And as a hs senior, you're too young to be solidly picking careers.  Keep law school in mind, work your ass off (while having fun!) in college, and then when the beginning of your jr year rolls around and you're thinknig of taking the lsat in june, start deciding if you still *really* want to do this.  After all, what if something you learn in college makes you passionate, and it's not law related?  Keep an open mind!

Pub. Interest gal

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Re: Am I doing the Right Thing?
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2004, 01:52:33 PM »
Just a real quick answer to your paralegal question... no, you do not need to have any training as a paralegal to be a paralegal.  One of the newest/hottest jobs for young smart people coming out of undergrad and wanting to work for a year or two before going back to school is to be a paralegal.  Firms like highering bright people, who have no family, no significant time commitments, and who are willing to work crazy hours and travel a lot, all for the chance of making some money and getting some legal experience while trying to figure out what their next step in life is.  Firms know that most of these people will leave in 2-4 years but still see the investment as worthwhile.  And... in additon to large private firms doing this, the Department of Justice has an honor paralegal program that mirrors its Honors Attorneys program.  3.6 GPA requirement, several levels of interviews and application process, etc, but good pay, government benefits, and a lot less crazy of hours then you will work in the private sector.