Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Political Science Advantage...  (Read 2808 times)

norman1l

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Political Science Advantage...
« on: March 28, 2007, 11:05:47 AM »
Do you think a Poli-Sci degree will help people tremendously in law school?  I was a finance major, but one of my roomates who was poli-sci seems to know a ton of case law/ common law.  Should I be worried?

pappy13

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 11:29:35 AM »
No. I was the traditional pre-law political science/ english major.  Any 'legal' training in undergrad is not comparable to the level of analysis in first year classes in law school.  The only advantage your roommate may have is a lighter reading load in con law when it comes to certain 'landmark' cases (Roe, Marbury etc.).


CoxlessPair

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
    • View Profile
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2007, 12:17:00 PM »
As a 2L with a political science degree, let me emphasize its sheer lack of value.
There may be the few con law case as noted above but it is nothing you will not learn from your Emmaneuls.

Throughout all of my OCIs this fall, I regretted not getting a finance degree. It opens up a lot of corporate law doors. Poli sci opens no doors.
Air Force JAG Corps

drbuff123

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 01:55:14 PM »
I disagree, I don't think it helps much after the first semester, but how many people in undergrad outside of Poli Sci majors have even seen a casebook?  The ability to read and analyze cases was invaluable to me first semester.  It doesn't seem to mean much now though.

EDIT - I went back and read your question again and the answer is no, it doesn't help tremendously , but it will help some, as mentioned above.

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 02:49:05 PM »
I don't even think the advantage, assuming there is one, lasts for first semester.  Maybe the first few weeks of school.  A few of my friends had read some Constitutional law cases, and that seemed to help a tiny bit in con law, but none of them aced the class, so even there, the advantage was minimal.

You'd be better off majoring in something you really enjoy and can do well in.

red

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 11:15:42 PM »
I was a poli sci major and I had never seen a case book in my life before law school.  I even took business law as part of my business core, and didn't know how to brief a case.  I think a finance degree could be tremendously helpful.  It might give you some practical background to how financial transactions work.  When you take contracts, corporations, tax, commercial transactions etc., the practical implications of the law will be much more clear to you.

This would go for any practical major, depending on what related law school courses you take.  My point being, don't second guess yourself.  Major in something you enjoy and you will find it useful later on.

shady2009

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 08:03:38 AM »
My two cents is that a finance/accounting degree is actually better than a poly-sci degree to prepare you for law school.  In finance/accounting you are applying some rule (usually a formula) to specific facts (numbers) and then determining what the application means.  When I had finance/accounting exams, we were usually given a fact pattern, we had to decide what rule to apply and apply it to get the answer,  This is what you do in a first year law school class.  The only difference is that it is a little more difficult to determine what the 'rules' are.  The only disadvantage that you might have is writing--finance/accounting majors usually don't have to do a lot of writing and you will have to write a lot in law school.  But the school won't expect you to know any law coming in.

My opinion is that you are better off not thinking you know anything about the law when you enter law school.  One of my friends was a political theory major at the University where our law school is.  His thesis advisor was a law school professor (who teaches poly-sci as an adjunct) and he worked for that professor helping to write a legal dictionary.  He certainly had the lingo down and it sounded like he knew what he was talking about.  After the rest of the class figured out what was going on (how to read cases, synthesize rules, etc.) people figured out that he had no clue what was going on.  He didn't finish in the top 50% last semester.  On the other hand, I had to look up damn near every word in every case for the first month and finished the semester in the top 5% of the class.  Best of luck.

UHLAW09

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2007, 08:23:02 AM »
It won't help you at all, but honestly I don't think any major would give you a real advantage. I'd say go Chemical Engineering just so you could get used to doing a ton of work and analyzing problems.

I was a political science major because career services suggested it for law school. The only thing it did for me was connect me with some good ex-lawyer professors for LOR and helped insure to myself that I wanted to go to law school. However, as far as substantive help goes. there is 0. I know a few extra cases in Con Law, nothing helpful at all.

I suppose one way to look at it is Poli Sci is easy, and you can really focus on the LSAT. Forget about what major will best give you an advantage, because there isn't one that will allow you do to magically better in law school than other majors. I'd say instead just focus on the LSAT night and day so you can get a high enough score to go to a school where even if you arent as good as everyone else you can still get a job easy. I wish I had done that instead of not taking the LSAT seriously enough.

Good luck

ericptk2000

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 71
  • MSU' 10
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 09:25:24 AM »
Hey Norman,

I have a Master's degree in political science and I don't think I will have that much advantage over those who don't for a number of reasons.  First, there are many different areas to study within the discipline of political science including political theory, the institutions (presidency, congress, courts), political behavior/public opinion, comparative politics, international politics, public law, etc.  Some of these topics are relevant, but in the undegraduate classes you don't go into a major analysis and critique of the works.  Also, I believe having a liberal arts degree is a double edged sword.  In one way it is good because you write very often.  However, the writing style is often long and verbose with much extraneous information.  My understanding is that if you write like this on a test, you will do bad.  Therefore, I think you don't have to worry at all.  If you feel that you don't even have a rudimentary understanding of how government operates, I teach political science at a university and would be happy to recommend some good books.  You can just pm me.
Bumpersticker and Laptop (Attending): MSU '10
Bumpersticker (In): Pitt, Case($), MSU($$$$), Loyola, Cincinnatti($), Toledo ($$$$)
I'm sorry can you hold (WL): American
Dropped call (OUT): OSU

drbuff123

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 125
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Political Science Advantage...
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 09:56:11 AM »
I was a poli sci major and I had never seen a case book in my life before law school.  I even took business law as part of my business core, and didn't know how to brief a case.

Maybe it was just the program at my school, but I took constitutional law I & II, administrative law, sex-based discrimination, and criminal law (which was a mix of criminal law and criminal procedure); all were entirely casebook based (all were the UPS Brown/ Gold trim West Books.) and our exams were all long hypos which we had to issue spot, apply rules, and come to a conclusion.  We even had to brief all our cases and turn the briefs in for a grade.

Of course I had the typical political theory type classes that didn't don't do squat for me now, but the ones I mentioned above were invaluable.