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Author Topic: Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?  (Read 1603 times)

klmnumbers

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Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?
« on: June 25, 2008, 06:12:57 AM »
Hi all-

I recently graduated with a degree in Music (voice performance) and a minor in philosophy. I auditioned and was accepted to several grad schools for voice performance, but had a bit of a change of heart regarding how much I want to be a performer for a living. After a lot of soul searching, I decided I really wanted to pursue law instead (specifically entertainment/intellectual property law).

I haven't taken the LSATs yet (soon!); but I graduated with a 3.5 GPA and got a 1340 on the GRE. I decided to get my minor in philosophy (for fun!) and tried to work in useful classes for the LSAT: reasoning and critical thinking as well as Symbolic Logic (which I guess I'm a dork for loving)

My question is, will this rather unusual undergraduate degree hinder me? I've been looking into quite a few schools who talk about recommendation letters in regards to my writing. Unfortunately, I was not required to take all that many writing classes other than for my philosophy minor (and I'm sure none of those teachers remember me..). Also, due to the rigors of the voice program, I didn't have much time to participate in too many clubs.

As of graduation, I participated in College Democrats, Quizbowl, and the Arab Cultural Association. Of course, I was in about 5 operas (including a leading role), and participated in numerous different choirs and did some volunteering for the film school and tutoring.

Sorry for the VERY long post! But I am curious if it's plausible for me to apply for law school next year, or should I try and get more real world experience (a job!) to try and make up for my lack of undergrad training?

(oh and I had to take classes in French, German, and Italian if that's useful. lol)

THANKS!
LSN - even tho I have no numbers yet. There it is.

23skadoo

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Re: Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 02:33:12 PM »
My undergraduate degree is a BFA in Performing Arts (minor in Creative Writing) and I was nervous about the same thing.  I had a 3.5 and got a 163 on my LSAT. I didn't shoot for the moon when applying to schools but chose schools that had a focus on my interest (PI) and accepted people with about my scores. Ended up getting into all 8 schools I applied to and most with scholarship $$.  I think a lot of schools are looking for people from different backgrounds, not just the usual Econ/Poly Sci/History majors.  They want a diverse class and having an artist's background will only you help with your plan to go into entertainment law.

Now, I also have been out in the real world for quite a while and working in an Asset Management firm for 4 years.  I also spent time volunteering with at risk youth over the years and am heavily involved in my tenant's assocation (legal work there made for a good story on my personal statement).  Not sure if that put me at an advantage or not.  But all the extra-curriculur stuff you can and should put on your resume, especially any instances where you may have taken on a leadership role.  I think they want to see someone who is involved and motivated.

So, my take for what it's worth is that you SHOULD take the LSAT and apply to schools this year.  If you know what you want to do, why wait?

Good luck!

(oh, and at ASD you can make a little joke when it comes to introducing yourself that you are a "recovering actor" - or singer or whatever)

PaleForce

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Re: Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 04:02:38 PM »
Hi all-

I recently graduated with a degree in Music (voice performance) and a minor in philosophy. I auditioned and was accepted to several grad schools for voice performance, but had a bit of a change of heart regarding how much I want to be a performer for a living. After a lot of soul searching, I decided I really wanted to pursue law instead (specifically entertainment/intellectual property law).

I haven't taken the LSATs yet (soon!); but I graduated with a 3.5 GPA and got a 1340 on the GRE. I decided to get my minor in philosophy (for fun!) and tried to work in useful classes for the LSAT: reasoning and critical thinking as well as Symbolic Logic (which I guess I'm a dork for loving)

My question is, will this rather unusual undergraduate degree hinder me? I've been looking into quite a few schools who talk about recommendation letters in regards to my writing. Unfortunately, I was not required to take all that many writing classes other than for my philosophy minor (and I'm sure none of those teachers remember me..). Also, due to the rigors of the voice program, I didn't have much time to participate in too many clubs.

As of graduation, I participated in College Democrats, Quizbowl, and the Arab Cultural Association. Of course, I was in about 5 operas (including a leading role), and participated in numerous different choirs and did some volunteering for the film school and tutoring.

Sorry for the VERY long post! But I am curious if it's plausible for me to apply for law school next year, or should I try and get more real world experience (a job!) to try and make up for my lack of undergrad training?

(oh and I had to take classes in French, German, and Italian if that's useful. lol)

THANKS!

I've been told that law schools really don't care what your undergrad degree was in- they see so many poli sci/history/philosophy/econ majors that those people all run together to a certain degree.  Hard science majors might stand out because of the difficulty of their program.  After considering your GPA and LSAT score, schools will be really interested in how well you write, because I'm guessing that a vocal performance degree probably doesn't require a lot of analytical writing (true?).  Make sure you nail the personal statement and any "optional" essays and don't flake out on the writing sample part of the LSAT, because this will shows schools you can write without having months to proofread and edit.  You've got great EC's, I'd go for it this year if I were you!  Work experience, even if it's in the legal field, can be a toss up depending on the school- a few(Northwestern) seem to value it, most others care more about your GPA/LSAT.  If you're motivated to go for 2009 sign up for the Oct. LSAT and start studying!  Good luck! ;)

non parata est

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Re: Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2008, 04:04:37 PM »
College Democrats?

Only apply if you're not interested in working for DOJ...
Quote from: Lionel Hutz, Esq.
Well he's had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog... Well, replace the word "kinda" with "repeatedly" and the word "dog" with "son."

klmnumbers

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Re: Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 09:27:54 PM »
College Democrats?

Only apply if you're not interested in working for DOJ...

Haha yeah I just read that thread. I actually have a ton of family in the government; most of my family lives in Maryland/DC, and my aunt works for the DoJ, dad for Homeland Security, uncle for the FBI (the list goes on). heh
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klmnumbers

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Re: Very unusual undergrad degree; is this a problem?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 09:30:38 PM »
Hi all-

I recently graduated with a degree in Music (voice performance) and a minor in philosophy. I auditioned and was accepted to several grad schools for voice performance, but had a bit of a change of heart regarding how much I want to be a performer for a living. After a lot of soul searching, I decided I really wanted to pursue law instead (specifically entertainment/intellectual property law).

I haven't taken the LSATs yet (soon!); but I graduated with a 3.5 GPA and got a 1340 on the GRE. I decided to get my minor in philosophy (for fun!) and tried to work in useful classes for the LSAT: reasoning and critical thinking as well as Symbolic Logic (which I guess I'm a dork for loving)

My question is, will this rather unusual undergraduate degree hinder me? I've been looking into quite a few schools who talk about recommendation letters in regards to my writing. Unfortunately, I was not required to take all that many writing classes other than for my philosophy minor (and I'm sure none of those teachers remember me..). Also, due to the rigors of the voice program, I didn't have much time to participate in too many clubs.

As of graduation, I participated in College Democrats, Quizbowl, and the Arab Cultural Association. Of course, I was in about 5 operas (including a leading role), and participated in numerous different choirs and did some volunteering for the film school and tutoring.

Sorry for the VERY long post! But I am curious if it's plausible for me to apply for law school next year, or should I try and get more real world experience (a job!) to try and make up for my lack of undergrad training?

(oh and I had to take classes in French, German, and Italian if that's useful. lol)

THANKS!

I've been told that law schools really don't care what your undergrad degree was in- they see so many poli sci/history/philosophy/econ majors that those people all run together to a certain degree.  Hard science majors might stand out because of the difficulty of their program.  After considering your GPA and LSAT score, schools will be really interested in how well you write, because I'm guessing that a vocal performance degree probably doesn't require a lot of analytical writing (true?).  Make sure you nail the personal statement and any "optional" essays and don't flake out on the writing sample part of the LSAT, because this will shows schools you can write without having months to proofread and edit.  You've got great EC's, I'd go for it this year if I were you!  Work experience, even if it's in the legal field, can be a toss up depending on the school- a few(Northwestern) seem to value it, most others care more about your GPA/LSAT.  If you're motivated to go for 2009 sign up for the Oct. LSAT and start studying!  Good luck! ;)

Yeah, they don't really focus too much on Analytical writing; not that we didn't have to do it. It's just that many of the classes which required lots of writing were taught by TAs, and my Voice teacher (who would write my rec letter) mentioned you should focus on letters from professors.

I mean, I've written quite a few really nice papers, but it was for classes taught by TAs.

Well, thanks all for the advice; good to know it won't really hinder me. I have a lot of experience writing from high school (I was an IB kid .. oh the horror), so I'm not too concerned about that.

--thanks!
LSN - even tho I have no numbers yet. There it is.